You Can Do It, photo by stevendepolo from Flickr
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” –Hebrews 10:23-25
When was the last time you stopped and considered how to move someone towards love and good deeds? When was the last time you encouraged someone? What was this experience like? Was it easy to encourage? Did it come natural or was it complicated? How did it make you feel to see the other person succeed or move forward?
Often times we shy away from encouragement, because it may seem pushy or it may seem “salesperson” like. Encouragement can feel like provocation, and maybe it is. We tend to view the word provocation as a negative term. But if the subject of the provocation is toward love and good deeds, then the provocation is actually positive and is an act of love and encouragement.
The author of Hebrews uses the word spur when asking the Hebrews to consider how they may “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” This word can come across as negative as well. Like provocation, spur is aggressive and it indicates an element of force or heavy persuasion.
The New King James version of scripture says, “Stir up love and good works.”
The Message translation of scripture says, “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out.” It then goes on to say, “spurring each other on.”
The point is this: we should be creative in encouraging one another, provocative even. We should be persistent and we should not give up on one another. We should try and bring out the best in others through meeting with them and encouraging them, whatever the cost.
Let us “spur one another on toward love and good deeds!”