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Don’t Be Little

‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…’ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

Hey guys, help each other out, and all that sort of stuff (**insert 1 Thessalonians 5:11**). Gossip is nasty. Backstabbing is messy. Talking rubbish about others hurts. All of those things will drive the people we care about away from us. Encouraging them, though, will build those relationships. We KNOW all of these things. So, why do we still struggle to do it sometimes?

Maybe, we still struggle with the people around us, with being a positive, encouraging force, because we’re focused on exactly that… people. And people ain’t perfect. It’s hard to encourage someone who’s hurt you. But, what happens when we shift focus? Head back to that Thessalonians verse, and look at the first word. ‘Therefore’. Well, what, therefore?

Jesus, that’s what. 1 Thessalonians 5:10 NIV says: ‘[Jesus] died for us so that … we may live together with Him,’ followed by… ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV) Ah. Got it? Jesus died for us. That context gives us a fresh set of eyes. Encouraging those who bug us is hard when we’re focused on them, and their actions. But encouraging them as a fellow human being, as imperfect as we are, as in need of love as we are, and as much a precious, struggling child-valued-by-God as we are… that’s different. And that focus will help us when we’re tempted to want to smack someone with our words.

Practical action time again: find someone who can give you one of THOSE looks when you start to be an un-encourager, leaning towards gossip, or unfairly bad-mouthing anyone or anything. Tell them where your weaknesses are, and give them permission to call you out.

SoulFood: Gen 24:1–51, 2 Cor 6:14–7:1

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2016

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