Key Bible Verse: Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. (Proverbs 12:18)

Dig Deeper: Proverbs 10:11, 20-21; 16:24

Encouragement is a tool that chisels away imperfections in the clay that is your life and mine. It’s the spoken word, the typed email, the handwritten note that is meant for personal growth. It’s anything from a quick phrase to a 45-minute sermon that shapes one’s character more closely into the image of Jesus.

Kevin DeYoung writes, “Encouraging is not spotlighting a person but underlining God’s grace. It is not about commending nice people to make them feel good, but commending the work of the gospel in others to the glory of God.”1

DeYoung’s statement got me thinking: How often do I see God at work in a believer’s life and encourage him or her about my observation? Am I even looking for it? Do I freely acknowledge this as the work of God, or am I too self-focused to see Jesus in my brother or sister in Christ?

Far too often, believers become critics rather than encouragers. We question people’s motives. We judge their actions. We jump up and down pointing our finger of guilt as though we’re back in second grade sitting across the table from the person we suspect stole our chocolate chip cookie.

–  Rob Bentz in The Unfinished Church

Copyright © 2017 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine and Promise Keepers Canada. All rights reserved.

1. Kevin DeYoung, “Encouraging One Another,” Ligonier Ministries, (accessed June 14, 2017).

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