Encouraging and Supporting Your Friends – We Need Each Other
Key Bible Verse: I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. – 2 Corinthians 13:11
Bonus Reading: Romans 15: 4-6
Mark (not his real name) took the courageous step of joining a church group that encourages men who want to grow out of destructive patterns.
I had been urging him to take advantage of this group. When he did so, I told him how my respect for him had risen. But as I looked with the eyes of God, I saw a shadow in his face, a touch of discouragement, even a hint of fear. He needed some encouragement.
“But you know,” I added, “when you read the classics, they stress how once a believer begins taking God more seriously, Satan is likely to unleash his most fierce temptations against that person.”
The relief that flooded Mark’s face was immediate. “Thank you for sharing that,” he said. “It helps me understand what’s been going on.”
Just hours before I talked to Mark, two of my friends had spoken to me, ministering God’s presence and wisdom. If they hadn’t lifted me up, I don’t know if I would have been available to encourage Mark. True transformation is a community effort. We need each other.
—Gary Thomas in The Beautiful Fight
My Response: Who is a friend I need to thank for being there to encourage me?
Adapted from The Beautiful Fight (Zondervan, 2007
Thought to Apply: A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down. —Arnold Glasgow (writer, humorist)
Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, show me how to best encourage and challenge my friends to deeper faith; show me how to support them during their struggles.