For the intro to this series, click here.
Words are critical to the ministry of encouragement. Crabb and Allendar offer so much instruction and wisdom on the topic in their book Encouragement: the Unexpected Power of Building Others Up. If you want to learn more, I recommend grabbing a copy. If you're local, I'll lend you mine! Today I'd like to move away from words to the idea of encouraging one another by helping. Of course, like it says in Proverbs 25:11, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. I also believe a helping hand at just the right time can offer the same kind of encouragement.
When I consider the ministry of Jesus, so perfectly focused on loving God and loving others, I think of Him not only forgiving sins and preaching repentance and the Kingdom, but also touching the untouchable, attending wedding feasts, healing diseases, opening the eyes of the blind, and so on. He ministered not only in word, but in deed. His deeds, affection, company, and consistency attested to the truth of the message that came from His lips.
Our deeds, motivated by love and done with intention, can spur another on toward love and good deeds and encourage. Consider yesterday's list of discouraging situations. In all of those things, people are in need not only of words of encouragement, but also practical assistance. You might be the one who can offer encouragement by your helping hands: giving a ride, cleaning a toilet, running some errands, watching small children, keeping someone company, move a heavy piece of furniture, etc.
On this holiday weekend you may have a little extra time to lend a helping hand to someone in need. Ask the Lord to show you places you might minister encouragement to another with your own two hands. You may also need some help. Let someone else encourage you by asking for assistance!
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17