This Is Us | Journeying Together | Encourage One Another
But encourage one another every day…so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 13:3
“She shouldn’t be yelling at her kids like that,” sniffed Loise. “They look like they dressed in the dark. Why can’t she take a little extra time to get them ready.” Melly frowned at the tattered backs of a mom and her four kids under 10. “You know,” she mused. “With Tom leaving her, she’s probably at her wits’ end. I’m gonna see if she needs some help. In fact, we’re free on Tuesdays. Let’s ask if we can watch the kids while she takes some time for herself.” She started after them. “I think I’ll stop by the grocery store on my way there. No single mom would turn down hamburger meat and some frozen dinners.”
It’s so easy to criticize from our safety zones, but criticism doesn’t care about the whole story. Criticism would rather remain aloof, judging others from its lofty perch. Encouragement gets in the trenches and fights alongside the strugglers. Encouragement does not ignore the problem; it approaches with a different solution. Criticism threatens; encouragement warns. Criticism judges; encouragement helps. We all need to give and receive encouragement, so God places us in groups that let us journey together. This verse warns us that without a steady diet of encouragement, Satan’s lies begin to sound like truth. Sin deceives us into thinking it’s the right path. Encouragement and accountability help everyone stay on track.
Final Thought: When you see another believer sliding the wrong direction, do you criticize or encourage them to turn around?
Prayer: Father, I criticize more than I encourage. Then I sometimes encourage the wrong way, not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings. Teach me to encourage toward repentance and holy living. May sin never deceive me again. In Jesus’ name, Amen.