The writer of Hebrews wrote ~ 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
What does all of this mean for me and you? What does this mean for us as the church?
Have you ever gone through a day and needed someone, really, just about anyone to say something nice to you, but nobody does? You feel like your bucket, your life, your heart, your soul is draining, it’s slowly slipping away.
And when your bucket is feeling REALLY low, isn’t it hard to add to someone else’s? Someone else does something really good, and to tell them “that was great!” is not always that easy. So, you see, when we don’t have our buckets filled, it is also difficult to fill someone else’s bucket.
You see this is all about how we treat one another. It’s about how we may send emails to one another that are not overly nice, or emails that have messages between the words. It’s the way we talk to one another, the way we hold our bodies which speak volumes about another person’s worth. It’s walking past someone and not even acknowledging their presence. It’s easy to be guilty of this type of behavior, but this is not a message about condemning . . . this is a message about loving. It’s simply a reminder of who we are called to be in Christ. And we will talk about that at length next week when we look at Philippians 2.
We are relational beings and we want people to relate to us. That’s how God created us. It’s how we are all wired. Some need more contact, more encouragement than others, but we all need one another. Adam was the great creation of God, yet on his own he felt all alone, he wanted another person to share life with, another person to live in community with, to share dreams and hopes and just simply . . . life with one another. I believe Adam, and ultimately Eve, needed one another and needed one another to be an encourager.
It’s interesting that one of the spiritual gifts is the gift of encouragement. I find it unique that God saw fit to really make some people gifted in knowing how to say the right things at the right time in order to encourage others.
After reading that book and another by Donald Clifton, called Now, Discover Your Strengths, it seemed to me the writer of Hebrews had bucket filling in mind with the words that were written in this and in other sections of Hebrews. He tells us we need to consider . . . consider how we can spur one another on toward love and good deeds. After rereading this passage, I don’t know if it hits you, or if you find it strange, that the writer of Hebrews used the phrase, LET US CONSIDER. It seems like a simple little phrase, but why not just say,
‘Let us spur one another on toward love and good deeds.’ That would have been more direct and to the point, but that’s not what is said. We are reminded to consider, to think it over, to study . . . how to spur one another on. When was the last time we gave it some serious thought about how to encourage one another, to say good things to motivate someone and to help them feel good about themselves.