In a book called Encouragement Changes Everything by John Maxwell, Mr. Maxwell referenced a study performed on how much pain humans can endure without passing out or dying. The study revealed that a human can endure twice as much pain when someone is beside him offering support and encouragement than when he must endure it alone.
While I may not agree with everything Mr. Maxwell teaches, his point was dead on. The same concept that applies to physical pain rings true for emotional and mental pain.
Galatians 5:25-6:2 :
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
I talked with a sister my age recently who was very discouraged at her new church home in a large city where she was attending graduate school. Her discouragement stemmed from a lack of communication and warmth from the members. She said that people were distantly friendly, but no one seemed to really care about what was going on in her life or about the specifics on how she was doing in her walk with God.
As a family—as the body of Christ—this should never be said about us. Christians ought to be so tight-knit that none of us ever have to think twice about who our best friends are. The people you feel the safest confiding in and from which you look for support should be Christians, and WILL be if we’re loving each other as Christ loved the church (John 13:13).
I can’t help but wonder whether the example I used at the beginning would also apply in reference to Christian support. Would I be twice as likely to avoid watching that movie I know is wrong for me to watch if another sister was avoiding it with me? Would I be twice as likely to be careful not to gossip if my sister was being equally cautious in what she said? Would I be twice as likely to tell others about the Lord if my local Christian family was soul-conscious every day?
Is it any wonder that God said we have the ability to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds?” (Hebrews 10:24)
What have you done this week to encourage and just be there for a brother or sister in Christ?