“But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
“Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8-15, NIV)
Encouragement is more than words. Look at all the actions this passage mentions. Respecting those who work hard can give others courage to redouble their efforts. Warning the idle has the same effect. At least it should. Can you cheer on the fearful or help the weak? Do it. And be patient. Bear with those who are less mature than you. Someone more mature is likely being tolerant with you.
“Love is patient, love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV)
So share the love. Use your words and your actions every day to build up the members of Christ’s body, the church.
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