By Not Known
Heb 10.15 says “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage on another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
According to this passage, encouragement is to be given when we meet together. Sure we can send SMSes, write a note or email, but the verse says we should do it when we meet together, as it is probably more effective. And we are to do so more and more not less and less, as the Day of Christ’s return draws nearer. That’s because the battles will get tougher, and Satan will try harder to knock us down.
Last Sun during the announcements, Pastor Peter wished all dads “Happy Fathers Day!” I heard the greeting. After I finished preaching, I returned to my seat at the front near the pulpit. Someone tapped me on the shoulder and said “Happy Father’s Day”. It was a world of difference hearing a general announcement for all fathers, and someone physically tapping my shoulder and saying in my ear: “Happy Fathers Day”. A touch, a word spoken directly was far more powerful and encouraging.
We’ve all probably had discouraging words flung at us. That happened a lot during my stint in National Service. The prevailing culture was that the officers and NCO’s belittled, swore at and insulted you – they thought that they could lick us into shape by bashing us up emotionally and psychologically. There were hardly any positive words or encouragement. Sadly this can happen anywhere, even in church.
But if verbal whacking can shatter us, positive words can have the opposite effect. Someone once said, “I’m very proud of you…” And I wondered what I had done. “You parked your car within the white lines!” Something minor, but when there is sincere praise, you feel good even if it is about something minor. At the very least it made me smile.
Recently I had breakfast in a food court, then took out my Bible to read. After awhile one of the attendants came up to me with words on a piece of paper which said, “Are you a Christian?” After awhile, I realised he was mute. We “conversed” briefly on paper. I asked him which church he was from. He scribbled “Faith Community Baptist.” I asked his name. He scrawled “David”. I wrote mine. We smiled and shook hands. In seconds we had become pals. Before I left I popped into the kitchen area where he was washing trays to say goodbye. It was the least I could do after his encouragement! This brother in Christ reached out to me simply because he saw me reading my Bible. He could not speak, but his smile, his handshake and his enthusiasm spoke volumes. We don’t have to say much to encourage, but encourage we must.