Attitudes In Positive Form, Part 8 (June 26, 2022)
Encouraging One Another!
(1 Thess. 5:18)
“Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
Context: Paul was addressing the uninformed idea circulating that Christians who had died would not experience the glory of Christ’s second coming. He based his response on the historical truth of the resurrection of Christ with the associated promise of our resurrection, declaring: “the dead in Christ will rise first.” “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” What were the Thessalonian Christians to do with this? “Therefore comfort one another with these words!”
The immediate application is, when we have good news, assurance and hope, we need to share that with each other. Comfort from God is to be shared within the spiritual family (see also 2 Cor. 1:4). One way to avoid conflict, distance or coldness is the positive interaction God desires among His people. Love, comfort, gratitude, service and encouraging one another.
To this add 1 Thess. 5:11, for a wider imperative: “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another, just as you are doing.” The negative is, don’t tear one another apart (Gal. 5:15). The positive is, “encourage one another and build one another up.”
In speech, how we treat people and all our interaction with fellow Christians, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear,” (Eph. 4:29).
“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:13). When we share goodwill, speak encouraging words, pray for one another, worship and study with one another – those are positive actions that keep us from the hardening and deceitful movement away from God into sin.
In previous articles I’ve written AGAINST harsh words, anger that leads to sin, grumbling and complaining. This article and the others to follow turn the whole theme to the POSITIVE, active goodness that is the godly attitude we should have and consistently exhibit toward each other, to the glory of God and for our peace and edification, as we pursue the pathway to heaven and do our best to take others with us.
To apply these passages with full and joyful energy, make a list of what you can do better. Phone calls, cards, speaking to people in a better way, visiting folks who need help, praying with other Christians, assembling consistently for worship and Bible study, using your talents and resources to come to the aid of those in need, expressing gratitude, surprising kids with gifts, having folks to your home for a meal and good conversation, joining with others to approach some wayward saint, attend area gospel meeting with other brethren and don’t forget to give the preacher a gift card for Krispy Kreme donuts on his birthday.
Hebrews 6:10: “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”