IN COURAGE. We get our English word “encourage” from the French, meaning “to put courage in”. In Scripture, specifically the KJV will use the word “encourage” as a synonym for strength. As when David “encouraged himself in the Lord”, it is the same as saying, “David strengthened himself in the Lord”. Somehow it’s definition has changed, as words do throughout generations.
Encourage is not about flattering or stoking someone’s ego, but rather to give them strength and courage for the journey. A few years ago, the Lord revealed to me that the church was using the word “inspire” in an improper way. The word inspire is from the Latin meaning “to breath life into”. So many in the church are claiming to “inspire” when what they are really doing is inflating people and giving them big heads that are going to pop.
Parents inflating their children’s egos, filling them with hot air instead of breathing life, the life of God into them. Pastors and preachers pumping up their congregation’s egos instead of strengthening their backbones. Look at the following Scriptures:“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen (encourage) you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10 NKJV“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
First of all, we are always to go to the Lord to be encouraged. We draw strength from the words of God. We draw near to Him to allow Him to breath His life into us and renew our tired and weary bones. We trust His faithfulness and seek Him for guidance, help, deliverance, protection, etc. He is the sole provider of my strength. His Word tells us that He will strengthen us for the journey.
However, if you are running everywhere else seeking help and strength, you will only get weaker. Even the horses strength is vanity, it is useless to provide you with the strength you need and will fail you in the day of adversity. Next, we are to encourage the brethren. Again, this is not inflating our family of faith, but rather breathing life into them. I read something the other day that giving your children constant praise without discipline produces spoiled and self-righteous, entitled children. Welp, this is where we are in our current culture. Unfortunately, this is where the American church is as well.
A bunch of spoiled lukewarm children, with a sense of self-righteous entitlement. Children that have never been disciplined and told, “No”, because they’ve been told God doesn’t tell us “no” and that He gives us whatever we want and desire. Don’t embarrass anyone or make them feel uncomfortable. God would never do that. Huh? It’s a completely unbalanced gospel.
Do you realize that under the Old Covenant a sexually immoral person was stoned to death. Seems harsh right? However, under the New Covenant of grace, the sexually immoral is to be excommunicated from the fellowship. This is a punishment of death because it cuts off their lifeline. The hopes of this though is to get the person to see their need for repentance. They are not to be restored to fellowship unless they repent. When was the last time you saw that happen?
Inflated heads and egos being paved a path to hell. God forbid! We are to IN courage our brethren. Put courage in them for the battle. Strengthen them in the LORD our God. This means we must discipline when it is called for. We put in one another the strength of the Lord, which includes sound doctrine; breathing the very words of life, His words, into others. This calls for wisdom.
You would never kick someone when they’re down but you also would never not throw someone a lifesaver who was drowning. I have to say this: stop inflating people in their sin and disobedience. You are giving them courage to keep doing what they are doing. None of us get the strength of the Lord while we are disobeying Him. It is only when we see the need for His strength that He responds. Allowing someone to have their own way and continue on a path of destruction is not God’s love and it’s certainly not the Biblical definition of encouragement. Stop inflating people that are not submitted and committed to the church.
The church is the living, breathing, moving Body of Christ. What another does affects us all. DO encourage the faithful to keep being faithful. DO strengthen the weak to say, “In Christ, I am strong!”DO strengthen the fearful to not fear what man can do to them. DO encourage the kicked down to get back up and keep running their race. #runyourrace
To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page