Encouragement is the lime and silica that cement fickle sand into concrete resolve. The ministry of encouragement is not the “soft,” interpersonal side of our more hard-charging, public mission of confronting disruptive power.
We rejoice in the Blessed One,
who draws us up and circles us round
and builds a bulwark against gales of destruction.
Offering pastoral encouragement within the Body is not “feminine” work where mission in the larger world is “masculine.”
As the Scripture enjoins, weep with those who weep; rejoice with those who rejoice; and thereby reweave the unraveling fabric of the Beloved Community.
Nor are habits of complimenting each other to be shaped by the logic of commercial transactions: I offer winsome words to you, anticipating you will return the favor, and more, later on.
O God who ventures into the pit of every human catastrophe,
your ears catch the pitch of our cries which no mortal can hear.
The work of encouragement is done to boost the soul’s immune system. Encouragement does more than make someone “feel better.” It’s how we prepare for struggle.
Incite one another to love and good works, says the Apostle.
Encouragement is the capacity to confront fatigue, failure, even desperation, with the confidence that God is not yet done. And neither are we.
Provoke one another to fidelity amid the world’s faithless affairs.
By so doing, the Evil One’s power to rend us asunder comes undone.
The giving and receiving of timely encouragement in seasons of severity opens a portal to Heaven’s purpose and promise and power.
Blessed are those who do the truth.
©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org. Inspired by Psalm 30; Hebrews 10:24; Romans 12:5; John 3:21