ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
INTRO: In the body of Christ, we need to be encouragers. We need to inspire and strengthen one another in our faith. We have so much for which to be thankful. God commands us to encourage one another, yet so many times we are better at discouragement. When we make an effort to encourage others, we will find that we will be encouraged as well.
I. What is encouragement?
> It means to come alongside and help people.
- It is as though we are walking alongside someone.
- It is not just saying a few kind words and walking away.
- It is a privilege to walk alongside someone who is going through hard circumstances.
- It also means being there for people.
- Amplified version of 1 Thessalonians 5:11-14: 11 Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing. 12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to appreciate those who diligently work among you [recognize, acknowledge, and respect your leaders], who are in charge over you in the Lord and who give you instruction, 13 and [we ask that you appreciate them and] hold them in the highest esteem in love because of their work [on your behalf]. Live in peace with one another. 14 We [earnestly] urge you, believers, admonish those who are out of line [the undisciplined, the unruly, the disorderly], encourage the timid [who lack spiritual courage], help the [spiritually] weak, be very patient with everyone [always controlling your temper].
- God commands us to encourage (Hebrews 10:25; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13).
- We want to come together and feel encouraged in the Lord.
- We come together to worship, to encourage one another, and to learn.
- If Christ is our Savior and we are living to honor Him, we are learning from each other.
- It also can mean to urge or caution people.
- It is encouraging them to not walk down a dangerous path.
> What happens when we discourage?
- We “dis” our courage; we lose our courage.
- But we are to be courageous.
- As humans, we are able to see others’ faults readily.
- We can be hard on one another.
- Sometimes we criticize instead of compliment.
- Sometimes we become discouraged because we concentrate on our own weaknesses and faults.
II. Why should we be an encourager?
> It can change someone’s life.
- Each time we encourage someone, it may change the course of that person's life.
- Encouragement can change even the life of an unbeliever.
- We should encourage so that the down in heart do not give up.
- We tend to gravitate around people who make us feel important, feel good.
- We should look for those who need encouragement.
- We should help them know that there is a solution; His Name is Jesus.
- Sometimes we can be quick to say something yet not listen.
III. How do we encourage others?
> The best way is to see the good in them and overlook whatever might be faults.
- We are all frail humans.
- When we criticize one another, it is a blow.
- Make it a goal to start to encourage today.
- Make it a goal to look for good qualities and strengths in people.
- It helps us to stop looking at weaknesses.
- When we look for the negative, we become jaded toward others.
- Give encouragement and it comes back to you.
- When we look for the best, we will find something.
- Send a card, talk to someone, pat someone on the back, give a compliment, let others know they are important.
CONCLUSION: Let’s be people who are encouragers. Speak kind words to others, and leave them better than we found them. Let’s work at being encouraging rather than being negative. We can help to transform the lives of others, as well as our own.