Ian Hamilton entitled this chapter “What Faith Aspires To” and I wondered what that would be about. Then I read about Barnabas and how he was known as the “Son of Encouragement” so I HAD to call this post the Encouragers in Faith. Have you ever met one? It’s a great thing you know… to find someone who will truly encourage you in your faith journey.
Mr. Hamilton goes on to say that Son and Daughters of Encouragement aren’t seen in churches as often as they should be, giving three reasons for that.
- Our innate selfishness. We are so programmed to look to ourselves and our own needs that we fail to look to the needs of others. Encouragers though, take to heart the injunction “look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others”.
- The Speck. You know…it’s how we look for the faults and flaws in others while not seeing our own. We are so busy seeing those flaws that we fail to see how we can work to build each other up. Sometimes the a rebuke is needful, but it better to have a rebuke from a friend, than from one who only looks for faults.
- Our pride. No other way to put it, our pride gets in the way of our humility and therefore our humanity. We forget the weaknesses of others. Encouragers remember that we are but weak vessels and deal with us in compassion. Just as Jesus in his high-priestly ministry deals with us.
What to do?
The question then is this, how do we become strong encouragers?
We do this by encouraging a Christ-like spirit, and humble attitude. Remembering that we are no better than those around us and sometimes we may struggle even more in areas than others do. We have our struggles, we have our giftings, just like EVERYONE else. We so desperately need to remember this. That desperation… to exemplify Christ should be what drives us to write a note of encouragement, to encourage the new singer in church, to pray a moment with a needful one, to inquire after the health of an injured or sick one, or to ask how things are going with a new job, new schooling, new adventure in the life of another. Take a moment… think beyond yourself and see how you can show Christ to others.
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