It does not cost anything to share an encouraging word with someone. The Bible often speaks of the importance of encouragement. Think about a time when someone shared with you a word of encouragement. It may have been the spark that you needed to help you to press forward. You may have been feeling down, and then someone came to you with a smile, a kind word, a shoulder to cry upon, Scripture, provision, a hug, some positivity— and then you felt watered.
The Bible says that we are to “encourage each other daily” — TODAY — so that no one is “hardened by sin’s deception.” When I read this today, I couldn’t help but be stuck on this phrase “hardened by sin’s deception.” Often when I read this verse, I read the first part. Encourage each other. Yet the second part of the verse is a big reason as to the why encouragement on a daily basis is important. “SO THAT none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” There is a BIG reason right here to be encouraging to others on a daily basis.
Now remember, today we are in the 2020 zone. People are out of work. People are worried about the pandemic. People are anxious from the uncertainty. People are having financial struggles. People are nervous about sending kids to schools. People are frustrated with being out of the comfort zone. People are angry at injustice. I think it is safe to say that many of us are on edge.
The Bible says that we need to encourage each other daily so that we are not hardened by the delusion of sin. Too often, when we are struggling, it is easy to sin. There is this lie that is linked to sin— you know, the “it will feel good,” or “it will make things better,” or “you deserve this” type lie. At a time like this where the world is so divided and tensions are high, it is almost expected that fists will fly, that words will punch, that heads will turn. Yet, there is no justification for hatred. There is no justification for negative words. There is no justification for disunity or injustice. When things are against God and His Word, they are against God and His Word. When we look around, we see great victories of the deception of sin. Many have fallen. Remember again, we all fall short (Romans 3:23).
The question that we must ask — have we encouraged each other? Your brother, your sister, your neighbor, your friend, your co-worker, your boss, the stranger behind the mask at the supermarket, the passerby… have you encouraged them? You may respond — well no one is encouraging me! Yet that points us again to the fact that there is no justification… there is NO JUSTIFICATION for a failure to respond with love and grace to another because you have not been on the receiving end. If we all stand around waiting for another to encourage, we will all be thirsty for encouragement. Take the first step today. Encourage someone. If you don’t feel very encouraged, encourage yourself in the Lord. Let us not stand silent and watch as many are hardened by sin’s deception.
“But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” – Hebrews 3:13 [CSB]