As Christians we are to encourage one another. Now i feel i need to be more descriptive in my message, because many times i hear people, who i truly believe are trying to comfort, but end up judging. For example, in Job 16:1-5, (i'm paraphrasing here), Jobs friends have been telling him he must have sinned to have this terrible time in his life. That he needs to ask God to forgive all of his sins, and if his heartache doesn't end, he didn't search hard enough, or isn't being honest enough. (Heartache being leprosy, death of family members, loss of status in town, just to name a few). This is where the whole situation of thinking because we are christains, nothing bad will happen to us. This is what his friends believed. But if i could be so frank as to say that bad things will happen, and its not for lack of faith, that is the world we live in, but that is for another topic on another day.
i truly believe that his friends thought they were encouraging him. But what they ended up doing was judging him harshly, and pushing him away. i love what Job says to them after 3 or 4 chapters of verbal harassment. "Then Job replied: "i have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you! Will your long winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing? i also could speak like you, if you were in my place; i could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you. But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief."
So i ask you, do you make long winded speeches, or do your words bring comfort and relief? it is not our place to judge. Let us love one another through the struggles of life. Let our words uplift spirits, not condemn bad behavior, that is not what God called us to do.
Hebrews 13:1 "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters."
1 Peter 3:8 "Finally, all of you, be like- minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble."
Encouragement : something that makes someone more determined, hopeful, or confident.