ENCOURAGE OR DISCOURAGE
“And we beseech you, brethren, to
know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and
admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s
sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
Several years ago when I lived in Oklahoma, my Pastor’s wife was my
closest friend and we always sat together in church. One Sunday when
the invitation was given to accept Jesus as your Personal Savior, she
walked down the aisle to the front of the church where my Pastor, her
husband, was standing. He was so overwhelmed! He took his
wife’s hand and wept.
She gave a testimony and said, “I have been teaching Sunday School for
many years and singing in the Choir, but I have never had a personal
relationship with Jesus. I have never experienced the Joy that only
Jesus can give in the midst of heartache”.
Instead of that church rejoicing with them, they held an emergency meeting
and voted to ask the Pastor to leave. I have never forgotten that
and I know that one day every member of that church who had a part in that
decision will stand face to face with God and give an account for that
decision that so devastated my Pastor and his wife.
My friend told me when we were alone after the service as she was
brokenhearted and weeping, “Pastors and their spouses need encouragement”.
Joyce Landorf says on one of her teaching tapes, “I was waiting at an
airport with a lady and she pointed to herself and said, 'Pastors and
their wives need encouragement.' "
The Bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue.
We have a choice to make in our lives. We can choose to encourage or
we can choose to discourage. If we say hurtful, discouraging words
to one another, we might as well put a gun to their head and shoot them.
It has the same effect.
The Bible also says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”
We need to remember this verse the next time that we are tempted to say
something that will discourage someone.
Are you an encourager? Do you try to find ways to say things to
bring peace and happiness into someone’s life? The best way and also
the only way to encourage someone is to tell them that Jesus Loves them
and then prove it to them by your actions.
February 26, 2005