I amaze myself sometimes – not at how brilliant I can be, but at how mistake-prone I can be. For several weeks I have been promoting our Interview Lessons. These are a series of panel discussions and interviews we are conducting at 10:00 on three Sundays this month. Our first one went well this past Sunday. This coming Sunday, the topic is encouragement. I assigned a Scripture verse to our two interviewees for this week’s lesson. It is Hebrews 3:13 :
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
It’s a tremendous verse. Unfortunately, this verse is not the one I used in publicizing this lesson, nor is it the one I initially assigned to our interviewees. No, the one I have been using is Hebrews 13:3 :
“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
Another great verse, but not the one I intended to use on Sunday. I’m thankful this was brought to my attention early enough to avoid a disaster.
While I mixed up these two verses, there is no confusion about the fact that everyone needs encouragement today. I don’t know anyone who has ever said, “Stop with the encouragement already, I’m getting too much of it!” No, the opposite is actually true. We live in a world where encouragement is lacking. We live in a time when saying an encouraging word or writing an encouraging note, text, or email can literally change someone’s day. Hebrews 3:13 says that encouragement can even keep us from being “hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” There is power in our words!
We need to do what Hebrews 3:13 says, “Encourage one another daily.” I have a friend in ministry who spoke on this topic a few years ago. I’ve never forgotten what he said. He said that he approaches every day by asking himself, “Who’s going to be the lucky one today?” In other words, who is going to receive an encouraging word from me today? That is a great practice to carry out each day.
In a world of negative Tweets, complaining Facebook posts, and scathing emails, we need to be different today. As followers of Christ, we need to continually lift others up. Here’s the amazing thing about doing that – it doesn’t take a major effort to encourage people today. All it takes is some desire and a little time. It can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Your words of encouragement can change someone’s day and even someone’s life. So who’s going to be the lucky one for you to encourage today?
Build each other up,