Day 11

Extending Forgiveness and Encouragement

from the One Another reading plan

Hebrews 10:1-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-24, Malachi 2:10

BY Hannah Little

Words of affirmation used to compete for the top spot among my love languages. Working in church ministry for several years, I’ve had the privilege of watching believers go above and beyond in practicing it. Social media posts with captions that could make you weep, cards and treats, and endearing announcements from the stage or pulpit—you name it, I’ve seen it. It didn’t take long for my internal challenger to kick in, wondering, “Do they really mean that?” It wasn’t that the encouragement came from disingenuous people, but often the encouragement I witnessed was rooted in subjectivity, dependent on ever-changing opinions. The encouragement we extend is usually intended to boost someone’s confidence or answer the question, “What can I do to make this person feel better?” 

Today, we read two passages that, despite different church contexts and authors, arrive at the same place—the call to encourage (Hebrews 10:25; 1 Thessalonians 5:11). The call to encourage is commanded in both, but it’s different from the call I’ve often witnessed and practiced. 

Hebrews 10:1–25 explores Christ’s fulfillment of Old Testament sacrifices and priests, along with exhortations for believers in light of Christ’s past and present work. As our priest, Jesus allows us to dwell in the presence of God with boldness and confidence. Out of this new position, Paul’s exhortation to encourage emerges. The command in Hebrews extends beyond a person—it’s not meant to be dependent on our impression of someone, but in all Christ has done for them.

Whereas Hebrews 10 focuses on Christ’s past and present work, in Thessalonians Paul focuses on Christ’s future return. In a book clarifying questions about the reality and timing of Christ’s return, the call Paul emphasized wasn’t to sit around trying to determine when Christ might return, but to encourage one another in kingdom work until Christ returns.

I’m thankful that the call to extend encouragement isn’t rooted in a surface level boost of confidence—instead it is rooted in the rich theology of Christ’s atoning sacrifice and His coming return. This is a call rooted in the Lord, rather than the recipients of our encouragement. 

Don’t get me wrong, encouragement that’s all about me feels great in the moment, but it doesn’t last. It doesn’t point me to Christ or call me to obedience. 

Let’s be women who encourage beyond the surface, rooting our encouragement in the gospel. Consider taking your inspiration from Hebrews, reminding a doubting brother or sister in Christ of the impact of the gospel you have seen evident in their lives. Or, take your encouragement from Thessalonians, encouraging an exhausted believer in their obedience to the gospel you have witnessed. Today, how will you root your words of encouragement in Christ’s work and His calling for our obedience? 

Post Comments (46)

46 thoughts on "Extending Forgiveness and Encouragement"

  1. Jeanette Armbrust says:

    Churchmouse – thank you! Welcome back….!!!

  2. Claire B says:

    Love, this, Churchmouse

  3. Skylar Hilton says:

    Hello Dear sisters! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Extending forgiveness is such an important lesson, especially today (although it should be an important lesson all days). Malachi 2:10 says we all have one father… so why do we act like we are all not children of God? Why do we insist on being bitter when the bible tells us not to? Being bitter forever is the easy way out…and might even be the selfish way out too… but we as children of God must refrain from choosing both of these ways. Although our culture might preach that forgiveness is weak and that we don’t owe that to anyone… we must not be like the world.. we must be like our God who forgave Israel when they gave Him all the reasons not to.

    God loves us.. and despite all of our sins… He forgave us. WOW! To think that God loves us after what we did to His son… is something we never deserve… ever. But Our God is such an amazing God. We must learn to forgive like Him.. or else we will regret it.

    I also want to tell your dear sisters, that I started my RCIA classes. Im so excited to go on this journey to becoming Catholic with our God. Im so grateful to finally find a religion!

    Have a good rest of the day!

  4. Mercy says:

    Extending forgiveness is what the Lord has done to all of us. Now where these is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. So we too need to extend forgiveness and not deal treacherously toward those God has forgiven. This reminds me of the verse, “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” And it moved me to tears realizing how many times the Lord has allowed me to stand, again and again, though statistically I should have fallen flat, but GOD, Mighty God, regardless of men’s judgment and all the odds. Praise be to God. Let us help one another to stand through building them up, bearing the heart of God for them, praying for them to stand and not fall. Happy Thanksgiving to you my all dear sisters from Canada. Wishing you and your family a wonderful blessed time.

  5. Catherine McVey says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you my dear SRT sisters. I love starting my day with all of you. Prayers for peace and love this Thanksgiving day! Thank you for what you all share every day. I picture us as a women’s Bible study group in someone’s living room and I love that. I learn so much from each of you. May God richly bless you and your families today. ❤️

  6. Mari V says:

    Victoria, I went back to check on yesterday‘s posts. It is a blessing praying for you. And as I reread my comment I noticed a typo but I know I made sense.

  7. Victoria E says:

    Happy thanksgiving !! I am so thankful for all of you. Thank you to Angie and Mari V and all who are praying for me. Thank you Churchmouse for that comment, God is biggest of all! How easily that fact escapes me. Mari V I replied yesterday to your post, I’ll write it again here THANK you for praying for me. It meant a lot to me to know that you were yesterday, I had a hard day yesterday. Bless you all !

  8. Mari V says:

    Aw….Angie I am so encouraged this morning by YOU!

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