I was at a conference this last week where I had the opportunity to re-connect with old friends and meet up with new friends. Now, for those that don't know me, you need to understand that I am an extreme introvert by nature. My comfort zone is to stay in my room and only come out to attend the meetings. It's not that I don't like people, I just have a high level of anxiety in social situations. For years I gave into that anxiety and kept to myself as much as possible. But the following verse was an 'ah-ha' moment for me that gave me reason to consider my introverted ways as a bit of rebellious behavior:
~ Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…”
God has shown us in scripture and by Christ’s example that we are called to reach out in the power of the Spirit. This means that we are to do it not because we feel like it; not because someone deserves it or even because someone tells us to. We are to do it simply because God desires us to.
This scripture from Hebrews encourages us to lift others up in the Lord. This in turn spurs them on to good deeds. We know that only good can come from God…so as we encourage one another, we are actually spurring on the work of God.
It never fails to amaze me how when I reach out to others when I am feeling weak in the flesh or spirit, the result is a renewed strength and spirit of joy…no matter what is going on in my life. This last weekend was confirmation of this for me.
Another example of how I have seen this played out in my life was on a mission trip. It was a large group and we were busy from early in the morning till late at night for an entire week. Midway through the week weary bodies were starting to influence attitudes and moods. On this particular day a portion of the group was headed back to the living quarters and conversations were growing tense and just a little 'snippy'. I myself was weary and wanted more than anything to get off by myself. I remember walking past a fruit stand and was impressed to buy a bunch of grapes and bananas to share with the group. Ugh...really Lord? This would mean I'd have to hang with the group and be social. I submitted and did as I was led and that evening ended up being one of the highlights of my week. As we ate the fruit, bodies relaxed, attitudes lifted and conversations became light hearted and pleasant. I bonded with a few people that were new to me and it was lovely evening afterall.
Everytime I apply this scripture when my flesh wants to pull back, God shows me just how deep His wisdom goes. Hebrews 10 looks like it is all about spurring others on, but when we act on this verse we find it is just as much about letting God do a work in us that spurs ourselves on.
So today I challenge you to put this verse into action. It can be the simplest thing…so don’t make this harder that it should be. A simple statement like “your smile in the morning brightened my day”. If you have a long time connection already, your statement may be a bit more involved, like “you were there for me to help me see God in a difficult situation”. It can be verbal, an email, or a hand written note slipped in a hand or put in the mail. Or use the comment section to spur on those that read this blog to continue doing His work day to day.
Each time you do this…lift up a prayer for that person and then thank God for the blessings He has given to you by having that person in your life.
God Bless and Keep You,