How Should We Encourage Others In The Lord?
By Angie Lewis
The command for Christians to encourage one another is found throughout the bible. In fact, encouragement can drastically change a person’s life! We all tend to get distressed from time to time and need encouragement. Maybe someone you know is lonely, depressed or even bedridden. Encouraging others is being a friend.
Build up the downtrodden for this is what God wants us to do – it is part of our stewardship as Christians to encourage others in the ways of the Lord. Show them how much you value him or her for who they are. It will make a world of difference towards their attitude. When we build up those who are hurting it ultimately makes us feel better too. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Respect is an important component in all of our relationships with others. We should always try and be respectful towards those who are having a bad day, even if they are not being so kind. It may be the disgruntled young girl at the check out counter who hurriedly hands you your change, or the grouchy boss who is disrespecting his employees. Where does that leave you? Should you become a chameleon because someone else is having a bad day? I think not. Turn your cheek and detach from the negative emotions of others. This is the only way to remain respectful. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18
Pray and Fellowship Together
To help the trouble-hearted there is no better way to encourage them in the faith than to come together in prayer and fellowship. This does not have to be in Church – God’s Spirit is not just in a Church building but is everywhere you are. Invite a friend over for dinner or backyard barbeque. Tell them about what God has done for you in your life. How has Christ blessed you and your family? How was your life before you accepted Christ into your life? Be a witness for Christ and encourage those to be more encouraged in Jesus Christ with you! How good and pleasant it is when fellow believers live together in unity. Psalm 133:1
Praise God With Songs And Hymns
Is there someone you know who is depressed or bed ridden with an illness? How can you bring joy to them? What about music? Grab your karaoke machine, guitar, and keyboard and make someone happy singing and playing songs. There is no better way to uplift the discouraged than through songs and hymns that praise our Lord and Savior. Record a CD of your musical talents and hand them out to those who are homebound. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20
Have A Forgiving Heart
Jesus instructs us to forgive our enemies, so how much more should we then forgive strangers, friends, co-workers, parents, children and spouses? Forgiveness is something Christians must do every single day. In fact, there is always someone who needs our forgiveness. This is why it is a good idea to just “be a forgiving person.” Encourage yourself by being forgiving and encourage others through the forgiveness you have in your heart. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3
Be An Accepting Friend
Acceptance is being patient and long-suffering. Don’t offend a friend because you cannot accept something about them. We can continue to love them by shinning our light, but we should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. If we are loving the same Christ then what is the problem? Should we allow petty differences to bring dissention in our relationship with others? I don’t believe that is what God wants us to do. Jesus came to bring us love not rules. Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:3-5