Specifically, those that roll off my own tongue.
But the truth is, people have spoken words to me, at times, which have inspired me and given me courage for months. Actually, years. I’m thinking of someone who prayed words of scripture over me years ago, that I’ll never forget. And others who were concerned about me, who asked choice questions and completely changed the direction I was heading.
Never underestimate the power of an encouraging word.
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
Encouragement is so important, that through it, we have the ability to keep each other from being hardened toward the Lord.
In my last post, Don’t Let Your Heart Be Hardened (click here), I wrote about the danger of wandering—of turning our hearts from the Lord until they’re calloused and hard and doubting His goodness.
A hardened heart lacks confidence in God and wallows in unbelief.
A person with a hardened heart doesn’t want to be called out or questioned about anything they’re doing.
Hardened people hold onto excuses and arguments, unwilling to examine themselves and let go of their own sin.
At times, any one of us may have a hardened heart, but we should be on guard against this, so that none of us become truly hardened by sin.
Instead, we should encourage one another day after day, which means we need each other. We don’t have things under control on our own. These days, we are tempted to think we only need Jesus to get through this life–yet He told us repeatedly that we need to help each other.
To encourage, in the Greek, means to stir someone up to action, or to exhort them to do what they need to do. To exhort is to seriously encourage, invite, call near, and be of good comfort.
Encouragement is cushioned by love and care. It’s coming alongside someone, desiring what’s best for them.
But sometimes, we (or our loved ones) are already deceived by sin.
“Sin appears fair, but is vile; it appears pleasant, but is destructive; it promises much, but performs nothing. The deceitfulness of sin hardens the soul; one sin allowed makes way for another; and every act of sin confirms the habit.” ~Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
Sin promises so much more than it provides.
Each day, we are tempted to turn toward sin, which is turning away from God.
Each day, we are in danger of seeing through the distorted view sin gives us.
Each day, we’re tempted to swallow down sin’s lies and believe them.
For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. Romans 7:11
Let’s look out for each other lovingly. Let’s speak with genuine concern into each other’s lives, and let’s receive encouragement and exhortation from other believers as well. Let’s do it on a personal level, with those we know, instead of on public platforms.
Let’s never underestimate the battles we all fight daily–or the power of encouragement.
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool: but whoever walks wisely will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26