“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
If you look up the word Encourage in the Greek language it means, Strengthen or be alongside.
I looked this word up because I have recently had someone tell me that I needed to be more encouraging and less "preachy."
I won't apologize for trying earnestly to keep those I care about on the straight and narrow road. If I care about you and recognize potential in you, then I will push you to do your best.
You must understand to strengthen may not always be a pleasant experience. Imagine a body builder in strength training. It is hard. They are pushed beyond what they feel is comfortable.
In the same way, be alongside, make me think of staking up a tall, spindly tree. We pound a stake into the ground and tie the tree to it to help it grow correctly. We train it to go against what seems natural.
To strengthen or be alongside is not pumping sunshine into someone. It's not sugar coating your words or tickling ears. To be encouraging is to push those you care for into being their best selves.
And in the above verse we are to spur one another on. Is that a comfortable term? No.
Horse riders use spurs to get the most from their beloved horse. It is not punishment or meanness. It is to encourage full potential.
I expect my friends to help keep me on the straight and narrow. And I will be spurring you and encouraging you.
Love you always.