ENCOURAGE OR DISCOURAGE
Many pastors have asked me why I feel led to encourage pastors. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13
“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”
Several years ago when I lived in Oklahoma, my Pastor’s wife was my closest friend and we always sat together in church. One Sunday when the invitation was given to accept Jesus as your Personal Savior, she walked down the aisle to the front of the church where my Pastor, her husband, was standing. He was so overwhelmed! He took his wife’s hand and wept.
She gave a testimony and said, “I have been teaching Sunday School for many years and singing in the Choir, but I have never had a personal relationship with Jesus. I have never experienced the Joy that only Jesus can give in the midst of heartache”.
Instead of that church rejoicing with them, they held an emergency meeting and voted to ask the Pastor to leave. I have never forgotten that and I know that one day every member of that church who had a part in that decision will stand face to face with God and give an account for that decision that so devastated my Pastor and his wife. My friend told me when we were alone after the service as she was brokenhearted and weeping, “Pastors and their spouses need encouragement”.
Joyce Landorf says on one of her teaching tapes, “I was waiting at an airport with a lady and she pointed to herself and said, “Pastors and their wives need encouragement”.
The Bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. We have a choice to make in our lives. We can choose to encourage or we can choose to discourage. If we say hurtful, discouraging words to one another, we might as well put a gun to their head and shoot them. It has the same effect.
The Bible also says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me”. We need to remember this verse the next time that we are tempted to say something that will discourage someone.
Are you an encourager? Do you try to find ways to say things to bring peace and happiness into someone’s life? The best way and also the only way to encourage someone is to tell them that Jesus Loves them and then prove it to them by your actions.
February 26, 2005