Encouragement to Others

January 9, 2011 | Pr. Finny Samuel |

Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ.  

But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. [1 Thessalonians 3: 6,7]

Apostle Paul mentions here about the report Timothy had presented to him about the church in Thessalonica. We can see that Timothy's report very much encouraged Paul and the rest of the apostles. They were very happy to hear that Thessalonian church keeps the faith and love what they learned from the apostles.  

We can see the origin of this church in Acts 17. They had to face persecution and hardship right from the beginning. The apostles had to flee from the place as the jews started the turmoil against the Christian church. So naturally, apostles had the concern that if the church would withstand the agitation and sent Timothy to encourage the church and strengthen them in faith. Timothy was completely successful in that mission.  

The Thessalonian Church might not have been 'the best' church at that time. However, they had a very good leader who was passionate about encouraging others. Timothy was in good standing among both Christians and non-Christians.  Timothy encouraged the Thessalonian church to keep themselves in good standing on the faith. By being appreciative of the church he pastored, Timothy became an encouragement to the apostles.  

Encouragement goes straight to heart. It revives one's spirit to face the hardships and accept the facts. We are called to be an encouragement to our fellow believers, to our family, to our church and to our society. How can we be an encouragement?  

1. Be in good standing before others: Timothy was an encouragement to others in three aspects

  • In personal life: Acts 16:3 mentions that Apostle Paul was encouraged by the good testimony by others about Timothy and wanted to take him along the missionary journey.
  • In Family: He was so obedient to his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1: 5) and even though his father was a Greek, he was raised in Christian faith. He was gifted with the gift of prophecy (1 Timothy 4:4) which he used to spiritually encourage his fellow beings.
  • In leadership: The Thessalonian church is a good example of people who were encouraged by Timothy. Also, both the epistles Paul wrote to Timothy reaffirms the same thing.  

2. Learn to Appreciate others: Timothy appreciated the fellow church members in two ways.

  • Acknowledge good things: In the verse quoted above (1 Thess 3:6,7), we can see the Timothy had an appreciating mind. In fact, by saying good things about others we become a better person. Appreciating the good side always boosts the others to continue being good. It is very easy to find negative aspects of one's life and criticize one. However, though it is difficult, we need to try to find the good things about the people we interact with, however small or insignificant that may be. This will nurture the relationships and help to build a better team, better family, better society. God wants this from us. In humility, we should value others above ourselves Philippians: 2:3
  • Testify to others: Timothy gives a good report about the church to others. This was an encouragement to the apostles. If you have good testimony about a person, let others know it rather than using that to flatter that person. I used to tell my team members at work that 'If you have something good to tell about me, tell that to others and If you find an area of improvement, tell that to me so that I can correct it'. In today's world, people tend to do the other way round. They like to publicize one's area of improvement to others and flatter one on one's face. We can see that Apostle Paul mentions good things about a lot of people in many of his epistles.  

Brothers and Sisters, let us have an appreciating attitude to encourage others by our words and deeds so that our God's name is glorified through us.

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