Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Shepastor: “The Importance of Encouraging One Another…”

“The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” Proverbs 18:14, NIV

For some, the phone never rings, the mailbox is filled only with advertisements and bills and physical touch is absent. One might think I’m speaking of the elderly who frequently face these painful realities. But for many individuals, not only the elderly, this is an issue.

Our society is rapidly creating an environment of isolation. The “self-serve” isles in grocery stores are increasing, removing interactions with cashiers. Automated operators have taken the place of human receptionist, eliminating conversation. Hand written letters and “snail mail” cards are becoming a lost art. More and more services are being offered online, reducing the need for individuals to get out into the market place to shop, engage and enjoy others “in the flesh.”

Depression appears to be on the rise. Many are feeling isolated, lonely and cold. Now more than ever we need to reach out and encourage one another. While social media is a great tool to reach many at once, we need to spend time nurturing “real friendships,” in person, on the phone and in snail mail letters when possible.

Those with lonely hearts and broken spirits need more than a Facebook message with an emoji. Twitter, Instagram, Facetime, etc., are fine, but they cannot take the place of a warm touch, a hug, a conversation over a cup of coffee, a stroll in the park, a phone call that simply asks, “How are you doing?”

Take time to encourage others in person when possible. Show up other than online. Take the extra step to reach out the “old fashion way.” The more we do this, the fragrance of peace, love and joy will break through the gloom of despair, repairing crushed spirits. The love and warmth in your voice, the kind emotion that exudes from your handwritten note or card, the hope and encouragement transferred from your body to another as you embrace in a hug can produce a healing that no keyboard stroke, text or instant messenger can provide. Who the moment you reach out, God's hand through you may keep someone from giving up. Determine to be a minister of encouragement today.

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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