READ: Hebrews 10
THINK: I’ve only ever been to one marathon, but it was a pretty interesting experience. I went to cheer on my wife and one of my friends and I noticed something about the runners, specifically the way they related to the spectators cheering them on. At the beginning of the race everybody was smiling and happy. But after the halfway point I felt like the look on most of the runners’ faces was saying, “I think I want to die. Yep, I definitely want to die. This was not a smart decision!”
But then something happened. It happened to Jenny when she ran by us. It happened to others as they ran by their friends and family members. And it happened to pretty much every runner when they neared the large crowd of onlookers at the finish line. They heard the encouragement being shouted to them and somehow it energized them. All of a sudden, the words “Way to go! You’re doing great! Keep it up!” shifted the looks on their faces and – it appeared – the thoughts in their minds. Runners seemed to pick up the pace and run with more passion and determination when they were being encouraged.
I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I also don’t think it’s unique to marathons. I think the marathon provided a great visual example of a profound spiritual truth: we need encouragement! We are built for it. We are designed to be in community and to do life together with others and to build one another up. We need encouragement in every single area and aspect of our lives. Especially in our faith.
The writer of Hebrews knew just how easy it is to get beaten down and discouraged along the Christian journey. That’s why he implored us to “Consider one another in order to stir up love and good deeds, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…but encouraging one another…” There are so many encouraging words and truths in the Bible. And so many encouraging stories about what God has done and is doing in our lives. We need to share them with our brothers and sisters in Christ because they need to hear them!
PRAY: Ask God who you can encourage today. Then do it!