Political Correctness has dominated our society in the last years. Now we need to be very careful, not only with what we do, but principally with what we say. This applies even in small groups like family and church. The question is how far should we go to challenge or encourage our brothers and sisters to do good and to love people? In other words, how far should we go to encourage them to behave like Christians?
Church should be a place where we are comfortable challenging and being challenged by our brothers and sisters. The author of the letter to the Hebrews wrote this: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24.” This is what the Expositor’s Bible Commentary has to say about the word “spur”: “Spur on” translates the vivid noun paroxysmos, used of the “sharp disagreement” that separated Barnabas from Paul in Acts 15:39; here it has a more positive connotation, but it certainly shows that the author expected the “encouragement” to be bracing and even confrontational rather than merely comforting.”
As you can see “spur on” is a strong encouragement. When was the last time that a brother or sister came to you and challenged you to do good or to be more loving? People do not do this anymore. They are afraid that they will offend others, people will leave the church, or will get hurt, etc. We as a church have the responsibility to do things in a different way and also to live a different kind of life. When we are not doing this it is the responsibility of someone in the church to come to us and spur us to behave as a Christian.
This kind of encouragement should not be vile, but should have its origin in God Himself. This is what Paul wrote to the Romans: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, Romans 15:5.” Paul is saying that this encouragement should come from God. It is a gift from the Lord. We cannot produce this encouragement. When we use this encouragement people will feel, not our strength, but God’s strength.
Our goal should be to motivate our brothers and sisters to do good, to love, and to come to church. They need to understand that not only does God expect this from them, but it is also an expectation of the church and the world. These actions are part of our Christian testimony. They are the means to show the people where our commitment is. If someone professes the Christian faith and is not willing to do good, to love, and to attend his or her church, someone should confront them and spur them toward these actions.
In the next verse the author of the Hebrews’ letter explains and expands the context and the reasons to spur one another: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25.” The first point is that people were not in the habit of attending church on a regular basis. Most of them were afraid of persecution. But the writer adds a very important reason for us to do this, “the Day approaching”. The main reason is that our time is short. We do not know how much time we have, and because of this we should be brave, and in love spur one another.
Have a blessed week,