Our Biblical Duty to Love One Another and See Each Other Flourish
Do you enjoy seeing success in others, and seeing others accomplish their goals? Perhaps your friends, family, or co-workers? Did you know that success in others is often the foundation and/or next step to your success as well, and that it is our Biblical duty to want to see others succeed?
Some people naturally know how to encourage others, and in their presence, you feel refreshed and motivated. Perhaps this person has been a boss or superior to you in the workplace, or a best friend, or parent or family member. Whomever they are for you, you know it by how they freely offer praise, admiration, and genuine encouragement with no ulterior motive of there own other than success for you, genuine success for them, and success for all.
I try to be this person every day of my life as well. Often times when you are around someone who naturally encourages others, many wonder, how are they so kind? I’ve gotten told this many times in my life - statements along the lines of “He never has a bad day!”, “He’s always in a good, consistent mood!”, “He has such good luck!”, or things of that nature. The truth is, I still get stressed over things at times. I still get in bad moods, usually when I’m sleepy late at night! And sometimes things that would appear as “bad luck” do happen in my life to me and around me (but if you’ve read any of my prior articles on “Karma” or “luck” in general, you know where I stand on that).
I often wonder, can we all become of this like mind, and consistently want to love and encourage one another to see others successful at whatever their goals are in life? Can you change someone, or teach them to be this way? What does the Bible say about encouragement?
Expressing encouragement may seem awkward for some people, especially if you have never been in a position of authority in different facets of life. But it doesn’t have to be that way or take being in that position to do it. How different would the world be be if we began to understand what the Bible say about encouragement and become people who speak words of hope, love and encouragement to others? I’ll explore that and more today.
What Does the Bible Say about Encouragement and Encouraging Others?
The Bible has much to say about encouragement and encouraging others. If we are feeling disappointed or discouraged, it is almost impossible to share encouraging love and care with others. Learning what the Bible says about encouragement is the first step to fixing yourself so that you too can help others.
Let’s take a look at several verses to get an understanding of what the Bible teaches about encouragement:
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV): Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV): Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV): And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Proverbs 12:25 (ESV): Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak - even if you don’t know off hand or have searched specifically for encouragement in the Bible, a quick search online will instantly lead you to pages and pages of pulled quotes with at least 50 to spare, all from different books of the Bible and all from different stories and recounts that had vastly different circumstances, but altogether the same ultimate meaning - to love and care for one another in an encouraging way, despite what we look like on the outside.
Just look at these 4 verses I pulled - you can break it down into 4 basic actions:
1- Encourage others and build them up just as you are doing for yourself and your personal goals. Share your success with others, and how you did it. Encourage others - even a simple compliment can go a long way. Make someone feel good about you noticing their progress. 30 seconds out of your day could make someone’s week.
2- Don’t speak corruption and negativity, but only speak positive words that build people up, as fits the occasion, so that it sounds good to the people who hear it. I highlight the “as fits the occasion” part for emphasis and understanding - you must understand that this isn’t saying we can never use judgment for proper discernment over people and situations where needed, but we must avoid speaking negativity just to do it, such as gossip, that often leads to no substantial growth and only harms the person or persons involved. A good example of this can be found in most common work places - let’s say an employee does something very wrong. As a Supervisor, you have to provide constructive criticism to employees for betterment, and also take disciplinary action when they do something wrong that could harm themselves, other people or the business. It would be almost impossible to do this without speaking in some manner that sounded negative but was actually constructive to training and development. On the flip side, if employees later on talk or gossip about said person and the mistake they made over and over just to bash them without anything constructive or developmental being discussed, or how others can avoid the same mistake, then that is simply speaking about corruption and negativity just to do it.
3- Spend some time throughout your day thinking of how you can bring people together in love, respect and encouragement, so that you can all do good works, and don’t neglect gathering together. This again can go back to the typical work place and not neglecting team work and meetings, or your family. Let’s focus on family on this one. Encourage one another, be interested in each other’s career and well being, and don’t neglect gathering together even for lunch or something simple to have fellowship and bonding so that you don’t miss out on a chance to encourage one another.
4- “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down…” For clarification purposes that this means male or female, this was written to be understood interchangeably, as the word “man” often referred to all of mankind in the Bible. Anxiety in your heart can weigh you down, especially if you are nervous about an upcoming challenge or impending results, but a good, encouraging word from someone else, like a compliment, can make all the difference and the results, whether in your favor or not, matter less.
I hope these basic points help you to understand why encouraging others is must in life, and our Biblical duty to one another. Encouragement sustains and lifts people up. It is sort of like air in a car’s tire. Once the air is pumped into the tires inner tubes and areas, it expands, takes form to the rim, and rolls on with a new source of energy. This applies to so many parts of life, you could write a book on it, and without even looking, I’m sure people have. Whether in the work place, family, or every day relationships, positively encouraging others makes them better, us better, and the world better. When we are all better together, the world is a happier place and we come to a better understanding of Christianity, whether you are a believer or not, you understand one of the core facets of Jesus’ ministry as our Lord and Savior.