Our Chapel theme for this School Year 2023-2024 is “Be An Encourager.” “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
The Thessalonians were, “in fact” encouraging one another and building each other up already, but Paul exhorts them to continue to do so.
To encourage one another is to give courage where it is needed. The life to which God has called the Christian to be in this world, but not of it, requires moral courage. Encouragement can be given through prayer for one another, through speaking the truth in love (Eph 4:15), and through blessing others with words and deeds.
These encouragements are often the difference-maker for someone who is feeling alone and lost or discouraged. Along with encouragement, building one another up is part of God’s plan to grow us in Christlikeness, holiness, and perfection. Encouraging one another is an important virtue and value to one’s well being and community.
Here are some ways of building each other up:
- Esteem others higher. Leaders esteem others higher than themselves. Have high regards, great respect, and favorable thoughts for each other.
- Be wise in your speech. Communicate more effectively by thinking before you speak. If there’s a word that’s more appropriate in a conversation, use it. Start with something good or praise. In case of disagreements, point out how both of you can make things better. There’s no need to raise your voice to get your message heard.
- Be encouraging. Encouragement is an expression and assurance of one’s hope and future in words, presence, and sincerity.
- Be quick to forgive. When others make a mistake, be quick to forgive and forget; releasing them from guilt and shame that may take root in one’s heart when not dealt with over time.
- Be understanding. Wisdom and understanding go hand in hand. Understanding starts by being an active listener (not planning a reply as one is speaking), asking intelligent questions to gain further insights, and being accepting of what the speaker is sharing. Then, answer without condemning. Or don’t answer at all and decide to just be a listening ear.
- Zero gossip. Keep others’ secrets. Never speak stuff that causes unnecessary hurt to others by speaking unclaimed rumors behind their back.
- Share knowledge. Found an article or book that’s useful? Share it with your friends. Sharing has been made easier and thanks to social media. Sharing knowledge helps us learn, discover, and understand things that are interesting. They have immediate application and results in our work and life, edifies our soul, and improves our daily conversations.
- Stay humble. Humility and maturity are synonymous. A dignified person accomplishes much, but brags little. They are secure in their standing without needing to make noise, often treating everyone with tremendous respect, regardless of position.
- Be positive! Positive thinking goes beyond having the drive and motivation for personal success. Positive thinking is explicit, definite, and outspoken. It’s contagious. Build up your friends and loved ones with your positiveness, allowing them to be open for better things to come.
- Love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails … And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13, NIV).