A Closer Look
There are staple ingredients to any good recipe, eggs, milk, even salsa. In the same way there are staple ingredients to a thriving church. One of them that often gets overlooked is ‘encouragement’. When you encourage and are encouraged, this not only motivates faith, it prevents faithlessness.
The writer of Hebrews says in chapter 3 verse 13 to “encourage one another daily...so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Godly encouragement plays a vital role in preventing sin. How do you do this? Check this out. Encouragement comes from the Greek word ‘parakaleo’. ‘Para’ means to come alongside, and ‘kaleo’ means to call out. To be an effective encourager you have to balance both tender sympathy and insistence of truth.
We can fall into thinking that because God doesn’t punish our sin right away it doesn’t matter, and we can also let sin mask itself into whenever we don’t hit our standards. As an encouraging friend, sibling, spouse or small group leader you’re to remind your friend how Jesus loved them at their worst at the cross, and just what that cost him. We truly need each other in following Jesus.