Encouraging One Another

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.  (1 Thess. 5:11)

She was a world-class athlete, who had competed at the Iron Man championship in Hawaii—which is 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking, and 26.2 miles running.

I had met her at the gym. If you sweat in close proximity to someone you can become friends.

Because she was in such superb shape, I didn’t understand why she was using a trainer who wasn’t.  Although he would walk around the gym with her, he didn’t have the capacity or experience to give her any coaching.

One day as we were leaving the gym at the same time, I said, “Can I ask you a question?”  She said, “Sure.” I said, “You know ten times more than your trainer.  Why do you use him?”

She got real quiet and said, “I choose him because he listens to me, touches me, and encourages me, and my husband doesn’t.”

I’d intended my question in a light way—I wasn’t trying to be intrusive. It was painfully clear that I’d brought up a sore and lonely spot.  My heart went out to her.

Today’s scripture implores us to “encourage one another and build up each other.”  I don’t know why that woman’s husband wasn’t doing that for her.  I don’t judge him; in fact, none of us can judge what goes on in anyone else’s house, marriage, or family.

What I do know is that whatever was going on, or not, had left her feeling empty and alone.  It was painful to hear that she was paying her trainer to receive what she wasn’t getting at home.

Today’s encouragement is for those who are living with others. Are we listening to them, touching them, encouraging them, building them up?  Are we doing so daily?

If so, keep on doing it.

If not, why not?  Whatever is going on, or not, I pray that we would address the issues that are keeping us from doing those basic and necessary things—for their sake, for your sake, and for the sake of the relationship.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you encourage and build up those who are closest to you? If so, how? If not, why not?
  1. Do you accept and even ask for encouragement from others, or do you try to pretend that you don’t need it?
  1. Think about those who have had the most impact on you. What would it take for you to move beyond and forgive those who were discouraging?  And, what would be the impact if you blessed and thanked those who supported you, lifted you up, and believed in you?

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