Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing how this season of thankfulness should direct us into a spirit of giving. And this past Sunday, we started with the topic of how we are called to give our voices. In my opinion, our voices are the most readily accessible but sometimes the most reckless. In First Peter, we are told to, “Always be prepared to give an answer.” This means that we must be confident and prepared to use our voices to help build up the kingdom of God.
In last week’s sermon, I highlighted two areas in which we are called to use our voices: to empower and to encourage. Encouragement is likely one of the easiest things for us to do as Christians but certainly one of the most underused. As followers of Christ, encouraging others should not be something that we do intentionally but instinctively. It should be a part of how we exist and navigate life. The writer of Hebrews states that we should encourage one another daily. This may seem like overkill, but I promise you they needed it. They faced persecution from the Roman government, and they needed to know that someone was going to be there to help them make it to the next day. Have you ever felt like that? Like you needed that extra push to make it? And that’s exactly what the writer of Hebrews encourages his audience to do and what we should be doing as well!
But our voices are also used to speak up for those who cannot defend themselves. Proverbs 31 reads, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” We should be ready (remember First Peter) to speak up when see injustice happening. This isn’t just a moral issue but a Christian one. Even Jesus expresses this same sentiment in Matthew 25 concerning the sheep and the goats.
So this week, look for those opportunities to encourage and empower. Maybe you’ve been looking for that nudge to tell your friend how much you appreciate them, well here it is! Remember that as Christians, we are called to empower and encourage those we encounter. Have a great week!