called to be encouragers

called to be encouragers

Originally published on August 8th, 2006 at Onward & Upward

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13

This past week, my husband and I did a lot of walking through cute shops in little tourist towns. At one point, we were tired so we perched on a bench right across from a place that was selling bumper stickers. As I have the habit of reading anything my eyes see, I was perusing them.

“I got a gun for my wife. I thought it was a fair trade.”
“I always wanted children, so I married one.”
“Forget the dog, beware of children!”

They made me somewhat uncomfortable as most were bashing an immediate family member. I couldn’t help but wonder if those types of bumper stickers really do hurt the intended party, even if supposed to be a joke.

One thing I love about Christianity is our interaction with each other. God didn’t create us to be alone, but He uses other people to minister to us and keep us renewed and strong. Life can be really hard, and sin is a terrible thing. There is so much to put us down, so God has called us to be encouragers to one another whenever possible.

It just seems to me that when you sport derogatory bumper stickers, even in jest, we’re doing the exact opposite of what God commands. This goes beyond a bumper sticker, though. How often we are out with friends, and we start complaining about our husbands? How many times do we get angry and all we can think of is to yell? When we see someone looking discouraged, do we simply glance the other way, saying it’s not our problem?

My husband is a wonderful man. Sure, he can frustrate me sometimes, but there are so many qualities about him that I admire. I want to be the wife that makes him feel confident about himself, not the other way around. I want to be the mother who is her kids’ #1 fan, not the one who openly complains about them. I want to be a friend who is refreshing, not self-centered and spiteful. Life is hard enough without the people you love bearing down on you!

I am thankful that God has provided for us in this way. He really is an amazing God. The more I think about it, the more I am blown away by Him. So I challenge everyone to take a moment and encourage someone you’re close to, especially if they are feeling particularly down. Think of how great our world could be if we all did this.

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