So, writing a blog doesn't change the world or even influence it very much. Readers usually log into this page out of some sense of curiosity or loyalty as friends. To be honest, it's a more selfish personal motive than that. The daily blog keeps my mind activated to some degree and allows me to blow off a little steam about many life puzzles. On occasion the same ol' same ol' gets a little wearisome and I need a new look to keep my engines revved. So, here we are with a new intro flag and a pledge to keep it short and sweet. I mean, it is Monday in February and who doesn't need a short blast of encouragement to tackle the mean streets of life today?
Encouragement is a personal ideal that registers with each of us in different ways. You know, a kind word or act that lifts the people around us, something positive as we shoulder the weights of contemporary life. In my personal experience genuine encouragement is more than rah, rah, sis boom bah, or my many attempts at glad-handing others, especially those dealing with trying circumstances. As a Christian, and a Gospel minister to boot, the real stuff is Scriptural, eternal truth from the Word of God. And, encouragement is a significant biblical theme. The words of the Apostle Paul are especially encouraging to me. He wrote to believers in the towns and villages of the first century world, people typically in a Greek culture, surrounded by stiffeling Jewish legalism, most often under Roman military rule. In several of his Epistles he expressed a spiritual expectation that they encourage one another. Two verses from 1 Thessalonians convict me today---
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4: 18, ESV
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up , just as you are doing,
1 Thessalonians 5: 11, ESV
Those Christians certainly lived in demanding times. Paul knew they could not be genuinely encouraged by government, local economies, or the secrets of successfully navigating life in the fast lane. He wanted them to encourage each other with Scriptural truth. He knew that life demands more than slick words or even the best human attitudes. You see, genuine encouragement is eternal truth that sustains us even when our life circumstances have turned sour.
So, it's Monday in February. Remember this---"And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all"
(1 Thessalonians 5:14, ESV).
Admonish, encourage, and help someone in your circle today. And, be patient with all. From an old guy with a new thing.