Dear church,

It’s been a long and difficult day. So I read Hebrews 10.

I see one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

I love this passage because it describes what the church should be. Church is about being together. It’s not about looking to get my own personal salvation or about getting my own spiritual highs. It’s about being together and encouraging one another.

How do you encourage others in the faith? This is a good question, and the writer of Hebrews wants us to ask this question. He wrote, “let us consider …”

There might be times we think we are encouraging others or “stirring” them up in the faith when, in fact, we are doing just the opposite. Sometimes our words can seem like they should really move someone along in the faith when they really just come across to that other person as careless criticism.

We need to be careful when we are talking with other believers about their faith walk and their work for the Lord. We ought not to be brash, thinking we have all the answers. Sometimes, we really just need to listen better. In fact, sometimes, listening is the best form of encouragement.

And by this, I don’t mean listening for ways to slip in our own hidden, passive-aggressive forms of “encouragement.” Instead, I mean just listening for the sake of listening. Maybe this means we simply listen alongside with the person we’re trying to stir up and encourage – listening with them for the words of God.

“Consider” this today. How do you encourage your brothers and sisters in the faith?

Chris

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