1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
Everyone has down days. You know, the kind of day when nothing goes right. First thing in the morning you stub your toe on the shoes you kicked off by the side of the bed the night before. Then you find out the milk is sour after you already poured it on your cereal. As you run out the door to rush to an important meeting you remember your car is low on gas. These and many other more distressing occurrences can sometimes cause feelings of defeat or failure that follow us through the day. But isn’t it interesting that these “down days” are often softened by a single word of encouragement.
I have a confession to make. I have on my work answering machine a message I received over a year ago. It is from someone I don’t even know. When I am having a “down day” I skip back through the work messages so that I can again hear the perky voice of a stranger who took the time to leave me a word of encouragement. She liked me. She liked my writing. And she took the time to tell me! Sometimes her brief message is what keeps me going on a “down day!”
Aren’t we all like that sometimes? Life gets messy with big or small discouragements, and sometimes we may consider giving it all up and moving to anywhere else to start over again. But then someone will smile, click on your instagram post, or speak a word of encouragement. Suddenly we feel that we can go on. Somebody likes me! Somebody cares!
How much more important encouragement is with spiritual things! We live in a world that, for the most part, doesn’t care about things of God. Truth has become an individual decision with no standard for right and wrong. “Do what feels good to you as long as it doesn’t impede on what feels good to someone else,” worldly wisdom cries. Those who seek to follow God’s ways are often considered judgmental and politically incorrect. Holding firmly to the truth portends some “down days” where our integrity will be on the line.
God knows this and through Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians commands us to encourage one another. “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
In the uncertain days ahead we will need a word of encouragement more and more. So why not start now? Write a card. Send an email. Stop by to see someone. Or leave a message on an answering machine! Whether it is just a “down day” or a real spiritual crisis, your word of encouragement may be just what is needed to help a brother or sister go another day.