April 27, 2008
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Around Valentine's Day, I saw a television program which was making suggestions on the proper present you could give to someone you love.
The show covered the common gifts such as flowers and candy. Then they explored some of the more unusual ideas.
The gift which fascinated me most was a small electronic box which made various sounds – the most useful of which was the sound of applause. The idea was this: any time some person around you did something right or fantastic, you would hit the applause button and the machine would make a sound just like a concert-hall full of very approving people.
All of us ought to carry such a box. That way, wherever we go, when somebody did something right, we could give them a round of applause.
All of need that kind of positive approval, and most people are starved for it. Maybe that’s why St. Paul wrote Christians should encourage each other and build one another up. He knew supporting each other in the name of the Savior was both an obligation and an opportunity.
To be able to go out into the world and tell people, "You've done well", is something which can put a smile on peoples' faces and a spring in their step. If you've never tried applauding those around you, give it a try and watch their faces. Your encouragement will be more meaningful to them than anything they can get from an electronic box.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for sending Your Son to die for my sins. There is nothing more encouraging than the forgiveness He has provided. Help me to encourage those around me by sharing the good news of His blood-bought salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries