It seems fitting that the last subject in our study of the “one-another” verses happens to be that of encouragement. Although there are many ways one could encourage another, many of them are linked to the use of words. Whether that be through a call, a visit, a card, a text, an email, all use words to inspire others to stay the course and trust in the Lord. Paul’s exhortation to the church in Ephesus is a noble calling, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearer” (Ephesians 4:29).
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
This idea to spur one another on through our words is woven deeply into the Pauline letters, as he was guided by the Holy Spirit. The church in Thessalonica was called to “comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1st Thessalonians 5:11). The giving of encouragement is one of the ways in which we fulfill God’s will in showing one-another honor (Romans 12:10). Timely words are priceless! As Gene Getz writes, “We all tend, at times to second-guess our effectiveness. We all need encouragement!” Whether it be words that inspire us to “preach the word” (2nd Timothy 4:2), “contend for the faith” (Jude v3), “walk just as He walked” (1st John 2:6), or how about all the one-another verses we have covered in our study. What we say can make all the difference in the world!
Nathaniel Hawthorne rightly penned these words long ago, “Words: so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary. How potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” It is true that there will be those who have the gift of encouragement (Romans 12:8), but God does not limit the task of encouraging to just a few. Although some may excel it this godly endeavor, it is a task for all how who are in Christ. May we seek His strength and embrace this opportunity to be encouragers of one another.