Reading: Philippians 2:1-11
The trials and tribulations discussed in a previous session can take a toll on a person. Sometimes, we openly share our difficulties with friends, and other times they may be hidden away for no one to recognize. As Christians, it’s our duty to encourage one another because we never know when someone carries a heavy heart.
Hebrews 3:13 gives another reason to build up our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Being saved does not make us immune to sin. We still continue falling into temptation, and even as Christ always gives us the strength to overcome the situation or gives us a way out of it (1 Corinthians 10:13), He still allows us free will in our choices. That free will can be influenced by those around us.
Members within our church congregation provide the most Christ-like influence as they hold similar beliefs to our own. However, quarrels have broken out in churches due to , and things like that happen because we’re family – a spiritual family.
If left unresolved, bickering within churches sometimes causes splits, and those who do not have a firm foundation in their beliefs may not only leave the church, but may not attempt to find another home church to attend. When these disruptions within a church become obvious to the public, these disturbances could also cause visitors to become scarce and in turn, hinder a lost person from being saved.
While even spiritual families – made up of human beings each with a human nature – have their share of tiffs. Ephesians 6:12 tells us to keep our eyes on the real enemy. Society has a major impact on individual perception of sin. Some sins have even been dubbed by the world as tolerable and forced upon us to be accepted. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to get distracted over the petty arguments among ourselves, but instead, huddle up and grow tighter, so that together, we’ll take a stronger stand against the temptations of sin.
Moods are contagious. When you hear negative talk, it’s easy to feed on it yourself and you both eventually spiral downward into a dark hole. Ephesians 4:29 teaches us that we shouldn’t let our words be destructive. We are to focus on uplifting those around us. Smiles and encouragement can be just as infectious and much more appealing.
Even if we’re already using our words to uplift others rather than break them down, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of this need. The church of the Thessalonians were already encouraging their brothers and sisters in Christ, but Paul, Silas, and Timothy still thought it important to give them this directive again (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
When looking at Hebrews 10:23-25, it looks as though our command is not only to speak kindly to one another, but to inspire an action of service to God as well. It also refers to assembling together as Christians. We obviously can’t encourage someone if we’re never around each other. Many people feel attending church isn’t important. It’s true you can worship God anywhere, but when we’re home alone, we can’t get the reinforcements a Christian needs. Be encouraged and be an encouragement to others.
Have you ever been around someone who is a genuinely positive person? How did you feel when you were around that person?