She slumped down into the chair exhausted. It had been a horrific week at work filled with stress and anxiety. And after work, she had spent several nights preparing the engaging Sunday School lesson. She was wearied to the bones as she thought to herself, Let me take a few minutes to recover. Then she felt a hand on her shoulder—the gentle touch and encouragement from a friend.
What is Christian encouragement? I believe it is about recognizing the work of God’s grace in a person’s life or service, and giving God the glory. It includes being thankful to God for His grace that is evidently seen in our brothers and sisters when they serve others faithfully such as in preparing the Sunday School lesson or reading the Word with others.
In Romans 16, Paul asks the believers in Rome to greet a number of fellow gospel workers. I believe Paul is asking them to do more than to say a simple “Hello”; he wants them to seek these faithful servants out, greet them, show them hospitality, and encourage them.
So how do we encourage others? We shouldn’t fake it nor practice deceit. Our words and deeds should be sincere and for building others up. We can share with them what we see God doing in and through their lives.
When was the last time that you encouraged someone? Perhaps, you may like to write an email to your pastor to thank him for a sermon he preached that was used by God to minister to you. Or how about showing someone your appreciation for his or her service in church? Why not buy that person a cup of tea and spur him or her on in Christ?
Who can you encourage today?
Written By Sean Tong for YMI