"Spur one another on toward love and good deeds ... encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." — Hebrews 10:24,25
The word for "encouraging" here means literally "to stand alongside." It has to do with assuring someone that you care, strengthening them by just being there. It's also similar to a word used to describe the Holy Spirit—parakletos, which means "counselor, advocate."
Who needs to be encouraged today? We all do! Anyone who says they never need encouragement is probably a hurting person. There's nothing wrong with needing encouragement. Jesus did. His Father encouraged him, saying, "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased" (Luke 3:22). An angel encouraged him as he struggled alone one night, knowing he would soon be arrested and crucified (Luke 22:43).
Our neighbors need encouragement. One may be a student leaving home for college. Another may be a tired, frazzled mother facing the stress of child care and a strained marriage. Another may be a widower facing long, lonely days. Or perhaps there's someone you have not seen at worship in a while. People who need encouragement are not far away.
Our children's teachers, our worship leaders, pastors, elders—all of these folks need encouragement. Being a daily encourager can be an addictive but healthy habit. Loving by encouraging can bring energy and joy. Will you do it?