Monday, 16 March 2009


We all like to be encouraged. Just a few words is enough to lift our spirits and give us a different view on the day. Acts 20 says exactly this:

Paul called the disciples together and encouraged them to keep up the good work in Ephesus. Then, saying his good-byes, he left for Macedonia. Travelling through the country, passing from one gathering to another, he gave constant encouragement, lifting their spirits and charging them with fresh hope.

Again: Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. (Philemon 1) and in 1 Thessalonians 2:
You remember us in those days, friends, working our fingers to the bone, up half the night, moonlighting so you wouldn't have the burden of supporting us while we proclaimed God's Message to you. You saw with your own eyes how discreet and courteous we were among you, with keen sensitivity to you as fellow believers. And God knows we weren't freeloaders! You experienced it all firsthand. With each of you we were like a father with his child, holding your hand, whispering encouragement, showing you step-by-step how to live well before God, who called us into his own kingdom, into this delightful life.

But I think there is more to encouragement than just individual brightening up. On my way to school this morning, I was stopped at a traffic light. Next to me was a huge granite wall,with some hefty stones on the top. But holding it all together were smaller stones and cement. Don't words of encouragement both hold our lives together, strengthening them and helping to build us up? And don't they also build us up as a community, helping make us more patient with and appreciative of one another?

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