The other day, I was chatting with a friend of mine about theology (as one does). As we were chatting he says to me, “Can I be honest with you about something?”

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In my experience, these words are often followed by a critique, criticism, or confrontation. What did I say? What did I do? I braced myself.

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He told me how he’s noticed exponential growth in my theological understanding. He said in the past few years, it seems like I’ve really been learning a lot.

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This was such a tremendous encouragement because I really have been trying to increase my knowledge and understanding of Scripture, theology, and Christian history. I didn’t start my studies to get noticed, but apparently my friend did notice. I still have much to learn, but I am learning.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I don’t share this to be more compliments. I share this to encourage you to encourage those around you. Encouragement can take many forms. Sometimes, it’s pointing a friend to Scripture. Sometimes, it’s reminding people of God’s promise. But sometimes, it’s letting people know the strengths and improvements you see in them.

We all know how much it can bless us to hear an encouraging word from a friend. Yet, we can often be quick to correct and slow to encourage. Sometimes, speaking an encouraging word to someone and building them up can make us feel a bit awkward. Perhaps, we feel that way because we don’t encourage one another often enough. It feels strange to us.

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If you see spiritual growth and maturity in someone: let them know. If you see them doing something well: tell them. We don’t need to hesitate to speak words that are loving and uplifting. Ultimately, this will help us build stronger relationships with our brothers and sisters. Christians that stand shoulder to shoulder, and build up one another, well…they’re a forced to be reckoned with.

Hope you all have a blessed weekend. Go encourage those around you!