Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
In the past I’ve understood the first part of this to mean I’m to be a cheerleader to the people around me, not hurting feelings or correcting them, just cheering, no matter the actions.
Now I realize that in order to be motivating to true good works with love, I need to do more than cheer.
If the one I’m cheering is not living in a way that consistently glorifies God, I need to say something. If they are hurting, I need to be there and say something. If they are being abused, by person or organization, I need to say something. If they are struggling with an addiction – whether it’s pills, alcohol, porn, gambling, food, or something else – I need to say something.
It’s not enough to just cheer someone on. If they’re entangled in something that holds them fast like they’re caught in barbed wire, cheering them on does little good to get them to love and good works, until we say, “Hey, you’re entangled in this that’s holding you fast like you’re caught in barbed wire!”
Trust me, I know it’s not easy. It’s not fun. It’s kinda dangerous to a relationship. I mean, when you hold a mirror up to someone who has worn a mask for so long they think they’re just fine, you risk losing that person’s friendship. They may tell you to take a hike. They may cut you off completely, and that would hurt so much.
But what if we hold up that mirror and they see? Really see. What if once they see they move back into alignment with God and love others well? What if after seeing they begin good works that help others move from pain and chaos to the peace of the Savior?
Worth the risk.
And the part about getting together as believers? So many say it’s not important. So many say they can worship God fine all alone. Okay. I hear that. But can you truly encourage yourself all alone, motivating yourself to love and good works? And who else are you encouraging all by yourself worshipping God alone?
God designed us to be in community. He set up His Church. It wasn’t some group of people who did that. It was God Himself who planned for and designed and created the Church. We should long to be part of it – and actually, I think we do, whether we think so or not.
Has mankind perverted and corrupted organized religion? Of course. It’s what sinful mankind seeking to be the ones in control do.
Does that mean we get to ignore God’s instruction to gather?
Nope. If we do, we’re no different than the corrupters.
I’m not saying you have to get together with 10,000 of your ‘closest’ friends to lift your hands at a big church or conference.
I am saying you need to get together with others to worship Him together, to encourage one another, and to know one another well enough to motivate each other to love and good works.
Who in your faith walk can you encourage ? Don’t put it off, do it today.
The risk is worth it.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.