Thursday, April 24, 2008

sons and daughters of encouragement

It is wonderful to be around people who are encouraging. The atmosphere is different than your normal spaces of life in which, too often, cynicism seems to win the day. And it takes everyone in this mix to add their bits of encouragement. Some are especially gifted in this way and we need people like that.

The bottom line in all of this is love. Do we love one another enough to think well of each other? This can be hard when the one we're thinking about does not think well of others, themselves. The ones Jesus came down hard on in his day were those who were hard on others, always thinking they were better.

Some think it's less manly to bend over backwards to show love to others and not offend them unnecessarily. And to think otherwise is evidence that one is thin-skinned.

I'm not at all impressed with that kind of thinking, because even in sharing the truth, we're to do so in love, knowing that we're as prone to error and sin, in ourselves, as anyone else. Those who think they have it all together are the ones who need the most help. And it can be difficult to reach them since they think they're better, at least it seems that way as you hear them put others down in subtle and not so subtle ways. They are to be pitied, and maybe there's not much more we can do for them than to pray, which in itself is the greatest thing we can do for others, anyhow, and can lead to us helping them in deed and word. Not that we all haven't been there at times, because I'm afraid I have, even if mostly in reaction to such people.

But it's wonderful to be a part of a group in which encouraging and helping each other is at the forefront of all that is being done. We need more of that, and we need to be thankful for our brothers and sisters who are especially gifted there, and often in positions of leadership which help facilitate that among the people they are serving.

What thoughts might you like to share on this?


Mark Goodyear said...

And being an encouragement to others is often a choice. When I get down, it doesn't take long before my spiritual gift seems to be morose bitterness and doubt!

Anonymous said...

i agree that the bottom line is Love and that we should be thankful for the people that use the gift of encouragement in Love.

very good post with wonderful verses.

kindness and Love cut through evil like a very sharp sword of wich the use of is not for wimps. on must be strong enough to lift the heavy sword and use it.

Ted M. Gossard said...

So true. I'm thinking of the root of bitterness spoken of in Hebrews, which we're to see does not take root, and if it does defiles many. We can be defiled by it and end up in the same bitterness.

Sometimes we don't see change, or there may be some outward change with the heart not in it. I don't know. It seems like once that root of bitterness is in place, it's hard to see it pulled out, but by faith and love and prayers, surely we can see it in Jesus be done!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Interestingly put, and you're so right. It takes alot of grace. Hardest too when the problem lies among us Christians.