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Help each other
Life has surprises in store for each of us that are not always pleasant or easy to manage. We need encouragement! A comforting word can help us spread our wings or strengthen our self-confidence at a time when doubts are starting to take over… It’s a way to help each other.
Help each other by encouraging one another
In Greek the word used for “encourage one another” found in the New Testament – for example in 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Encourage one another”, can imply bringing comfort, consolation or a soothing feeling. It is also used in the sense of “to make a suggestion to someone”, “to encourage someone to do something”. In any case, this word conveys the idea of looking out for others, kindness and goodwill.
The phrase “one another” implies mutuality, exchange. Consequently, it is not the proactive on one side and the passive on the other. Everyone can receive and everyone can give. Everyone can maintain friendship, consolidate it, cultivate it. Moreover, reciprocity is essential if we do not want to slip into asymmetrical relationships, which are unhealthy in the long run. Although it is true that we do not all have the same functions in the Body of Christ, we all have something to contribute to other members. So we are able to help each other !
Help without comparing each another
In Matthew 25, Jesus presents the parable of the talents, which depicts people who do not all have the same number of talents. It reveals that those who have only one talent tend to find it insignificant, to despise it, to bury the little they have, perhaps because they compare themselves to others. Jesus asks us to invest in our talent or talents.
Help by practical demonstrations of friendship
In Ephesians 2:10 the apostle Paul says that God has prepared good works beforehand for us to do. This means, we’ve all received a portion for others to enjoy. And there are so many ways to bring something to the table. Whether it’s by using words, through actions, through images or by presence.
In this 21st century, we can offer an intangible and rather rare commodity such as good listening skills! You can make a phone call, write a short note using the current tools available. You can invite someone over for a drink, you can have some flowers delivered, go shopping for someone, offer them an object of your own making, a photo that you took yourself, etc. There are so many possible demonstrations of friendship, so many ways to say to someone: “I am thinking of you”.
Starting today, respect your gift
So today I would like to encourage you to have respect and appreciation for the gift or gifts that God has given you. If you don’t see how to invest them, use your creativity! Often, the care that we receive from a brother or a sister, awakens in us a desire to make our own contribution. An investment, however small, leads to other investments, which in turn awaken others! He who is faithful in the little things is also faithful in the greater things.
For my part, when I pray for someone, it regularly leads me to a concrete action that God places in my heart during my encounter with Him. John says that a nointing teaches us all things, in particular to come out of our passivity to take care (help) of each other.
In any case, in his exhortation to the Thessalonians, Paul clearly shows that the members of the Body need to encourage one another. Often we can bring comfort and console because we ourselves have been comforted and consoled.
Today, do help by giving encouragement to someone
To conclude, I have a suggestion: today, show encouragement to someone around you. In your own way. And tomorrow repeat the experiment with someone else. By sowing encouragement, you will allow others to invest in their talent, to transmit their portion… and you yourself will be encouraged. You will help someone… and yourself!
God is on your side! Have a beautiful day!