But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).
Do you know what I’ve noticed? When I’m around certain people, I don’t sin as much. When I’m around certain people, I’m much less prone to complain or give up hope. On the other hand, there are some people who only have to walk into the room to get me down in the dumps, or to get me on the defensive. Or, even worse, the offensive.
Back to that first group of people. They understand what the writer of Hebrews is saying here. He tells us that if we will offer encouragement to one another, we can help one another avoid the pitfalls of sin.
Encourage one another daily. There are two key words that I will point out. The first is encourage. Not nag, belittle, or criticize. Encourage. While I worked at Kmart while in my college days, a new manager was assigned to the store. Not long after he came, he was on my back all the time. One day I told him I could use a little encouragement. He said, “That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m encouraging you not to be such an idiot.” For some reason I didn’t feel encouraged. Here’s an easy way to identify encouragement. It feels good to hear. It builds you up. It strengthens you.
The second key word is daily, as in seven a week. We need to encourage people every day. I find it interesting that the Bible never says, “Rebuke one another daily,” or “Correct one another daily,” or “Scold one another daily.” However, it does say, “Encourage one another daily.” That’s because when you offer people encouragement, you help them become more holy. You help them maintain a tender heart. You help them keep their thoughts directed toward Jesus.
And do you know what else you do? You help yourself. Solomon said, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” (Proverbs 11:25). When you are passing out encouragement, some of it comes back your way.
Because of Jesus,