“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Work hard to be an encourager of everyone in your life!
If people are living and ministering in a way that is pleasing to God, let them know how much you appreciate them, how much you benefit from being around them, what God is teaching you through them.
And if people are acting in a way that is wrong and offensive, then encourage them towards the Lord. Gossiping about someone who offends you is only done out of selfish motives, never out of love for them or a desire for them to grow. There is no godliness in talking badly about someone to someone else.
If you love someone and want them to grow in their behaviour to be more Christlike, you will not gossip about them; rather, you will talk to them in an encouraging way and you will talk to the Lord on their behalf. Leonard Ravenhill once said, “Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we pray! For prayer is a great deterrent.”
Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45)
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