Y'all let me just be straight up honest right now. For me to write a teeny tiny blog on this topic when God has authored the greatest book of encouragement that has ever existed is seriously demented of me to think I can top that. I can't. You should read the bible, all of it, numerous times and daily. But for purposes of what I am doing here, I hope to shed understanding and offer my own encouragement of why we should support and encourage those we love.
In a world where it‘s easy to tear others down, love builds others up. Spend an hour on social media (way too much time in my opinion) and you can experience how brave people are in offering unkind words and hurling insults. Would we speak this way to each other if we were face to face? Yes, actually we do. The political arena has become a hate infested disgraceful abyss. How have we become so intolerant of tolerance? It breaks my heart.
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called 'Today,' so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13
One key to avoiding a pitfall is the influence of other Christian believers. One of the great benefits of healthy church relationships is loving correction. Having a meaningful, personal relationship with other Christians means "watching each other's back." This means warning our brothers and sisters in Christ when they are being pulled away into sin and helping them to resist temptation and error. The author's urgency is highlighted by using the phrase "as long as it is called 'today.'" This, in more modern terms, could be stated as "do it while you still can."
A well-meaning but misguided strategy to exhort someone struggling to accept God's unconditional love may be, "You just have to believe it." But we cannot badger others into accepting God's love. Although we can try to model it in our life and community, each of us must ultimately open up with vulnerability and humility to acknowledge our unworthiness of God's mercy and to accept our own worth in Jesus, which is sometimes more difficult. In confessing our sin before God, we accept our unworthiness—not worthlessness! In that moment of vulnerability we discover that God is "faithful and just" and, through Jesus Christ, graciously covers the sinner with love and forgiveness. We know that although we have been found out, we have also been found. That is where the confidence to encourage comes from.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." Thessalonians 5:11
Because encouragement is so important to the church, God doesn’t merely recommend it; he explicitly commands it. Encouragement can be comforting or it can be challenging. Quality encouragement is both.
One of my most favorite movie scenes ever that illustrates comforting and challenging encouragement comes from "Facing The Giants." Watch the clip here. It's a powerful and compelling scene of a coach encouraging one of his players to crush a limiting mindset. Everytime I watch it, I am wrecked. I imagine Jesus as the coach knowing that heaven is the end zone. I lose it every single time when Brock cries out "It hurts" and the coach yells "I know it hurts." Oh, how Jesus knows our pain! Yet he is also fully aware of the glory of the end zone which is why he doesn't stop the hurt but desperately, passionately cheers us to holiness.
If God isn't calming the storm around you, you can be sure He is calming the storm within you. And while you may feel alone, God is telling you He is all you need. Do not faint! He is strengthening you in areas you cannot even see yet.
If you are battling a limiting belief about yourself, a harrowing trial, a disappointing setback, a controlling colleague, a bond of addiction, a dark alley, the deepest heartbreak, or you're just trying to crawl across the football field in pain...
I wanna see your absolute best.
I want you to do it blindfolded (so you don't quit too early)
Forget the 20. You give me your best. You keep going.
You gotta keep moving. Let’s keep moving.
Don’t quit on me. Keep going!
Don’t quit till you got nothing left.
Negotiate with your mind to find more strength.
I know it hurts. You keep going.
It’s all heart. You keep going!
It’s not too hard. You keep going.
You can. You can. Five more.
Don’t quit. Two more. One more.
Look up, you're in the end zone.
I am here to support you, encourage you and I believe you can carry a 140....no 160 pound weight across the football field of life. If you need a coach, I am just a phone call away.