As I sit and ponder the world in which we live and the events that are going on in our country, I was reminded of a quote by G.K. Chesterton. If you are not familiar with him, he is a profound writer and thinker of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
In his book Orthodoxy published in 1908, he writes this,
“The new rebel is a skeptic and will not entirely trust anything… [T]he fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation applies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces but the doctrine by which he denounces it… As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, as a philosopher, that all life is a waste of time. [He] goes to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (Haddonfield, NJ: Dodd, Mead & Co, 2013), 28-29.
Numerous people you meet every day are carrying a heavy burden. Life is hard in multiple ways. People struggle with finances, family, marriage, careers, health, past, failure, sin, and a thousand other possibilities. Each time we put something new in our emotional bag to carry, it gets more massive, and we begin to lose courage. Often these issues move people away from God and the hope and light they need.
As a follower of Jesus, we are called to encourage. The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today…” (Hebrews 3:13 – NIV 2011) When we encounter people who are turning away from God because of some difficulty, we are instructed to offer encouragement.
The English word encouragement is defined as, “To inspire with courage.” The main idea is that life issues can take away a person’s courage, and they need someone to come and inspire them to continue when it is tough. We spur them on by offering help and hope.
The harsh reality is that you are going to spend time this day and this week with people who are floundering through each day without the courage and strength they need. Jesus followers are to meet these people and offer them the words and actions that will keep their lives moving in the right direction. Hebrews says it will be a daily job for those who take the work seriously.
Let me encourage you today. Don’t ever cease being a light in the darkness. You might be the person God uses to inspire someone else in ways you never imagined.