Wednesday, Feb. 25
Encouraging one another is good and it’s a bit rare. While we need wisdom, discernment, and godly guidance, we need to practice it more. Two main questions—when and how? When? Most of the time a person who needs encouragement is not when he’s on a high. If he is rejoicing over an answer to prayer, or a raise in pay, or has had success in his ministry, he probably does not need a lot of encouragement. The one who is down and defeated, who has suffered a set back of some sort, who is wondering where God is—he’s the one that needs encouragement. We need to be on the look out for these people. Often it will be only by noticing their body language because people are not quick to admit a problem. They are quick to talk of their successes, but will be mum about their perceived failures. If we have eyes to see and ears to hear, we will take notice of people in need. That’s the WHEN. Now the HOW. The person who is down doesn’t need pity; he needs help. Try to identify the root of the problem. Sometimes, the surface issue is not the real issue. Loving questions get you to the real problem. Use Scripture to point out the way. [One good reason why we need to be a student of the Word.] Identifying with him in his need (not a pity party) is helpful. If he’s lost a loved one, maybe you can identify with that and help him in the grieving process. If you have been in a similar situation, you probably have some suggestions to offer. Pray together; this is very important. And follow up on it. Let him know that you care. Look for positive results and encourage him again. Most of this is probably not new to you. The main issue is whether or not I care enough to spend time helping someone.