Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (NIV)
It was back when kitchen drain lines didn’t have to pour into a septic tank. It was perfectly acceptable for them to slither underground and bleed just beneath the surface some yards beyond a house. It was here, under several pieces of roof tin, that Grandmammy kept her treasure.
My maternal grandmother was an anomaly. I’ve never been associated with many older women who loved to fish, but she did. Her life revolved around heaving lines, the fruit of which was eaten or sold.
Everything about her revealed her identity. Cane poles resting on the side of the old farm house. Brackets above her car windows for holding poles. Boat motor in the car trunk along with a gas can. Cricket basket hanging from the porch rafters. And an old straw hat neatly tucked in the closet.
But her cherished jewels were under the slices of tin in the backyard. Where the ground was moist from an almost steady flow of water from the kitchen sink and where the tin sheets shielded the sun’s rays. Here lay her gems. Slimy, gooey, wiggling, plump night crawlers. Only when she was ready to fish did she uncover her treasure cove and release what brought her and others satisfaction.
The power of encouragement. A treasure often buried or at least slightly covered. One that when released has the potential to bring enormous pleasure to others. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to make it a regular practice to resist sin.
I’ve never met anyone who said, “Please stop. I’ve had all the encouragement I can take. I need to hear some negative pessimistic comments.” I’ve never assumed I was offering too much encouragement. Nor have I received more than my share.
Our mouths are unique. The same tongues that exude gossip, negativity, pessimism, lies, slander, caustic remarks, and cursing can also speak words of encouragement, optimism, kindness, truth, and grace. The treasure of encouragement lies within each of us, but releasing it is a choice. What can you say that would not be better left unsaid?
Prayer: Father, may the words of our mouth be acceptable to You and encouraging to others.
Martin Wiles firstname.lastname@example.org
Harleyville, South Carolina, USA