“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.” 1 Thes 5:11 (CSB)
Building morale, or team spirit, into soldiers is a big part of military leadership. The military life can be full of hardship, especially in a combat zone, so speaking words that build up your troops is essential.
Your troops work long hours, go great lengths of time without seeing their families, and may even put their lives on the line. Building them up, thanking them for their sacrifice and helping them realize that they are working towards something larger than themselves is a key component of keeping them committed to the team. When they are sacrificing but are not encouraged, their hearts and minds are not engaged in the mission.
Likewise, we as Christians need to build up our Christian brothers and sisters. The Christian life isn’t always easy, and battling temptation is difficult, so let’s encourage one another as we tackle the various trials we face in life. This building of morale not only helps us, but it serves as a witness to nonbelievers. Jesus says in John 13:35 (CSB), “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Encouraging one another, loving one another, and building one another’s morale points people to Jesus.
Not only should we build up our fellow believers, we need to ensure all the words flowing from our mouths point others to Christ. One of the best thermometers we give nonbelievers to measure our walk with Christ is what comes out of our mouths. It says in James 1:26 (CSB), “If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, his religion is useless and he deceives himself.” Fighting over politics and posting mean memes online, no matter how true it may seem, does not bring others to the heart of God. If anything, it pushes others away.
Today, at work, school, or spending time with your family, ask God to help you with your tongue. Ask that all the communication that flows from you, whether in speech or on the internet, is pure and points people to Him. Pray for your fellow believers, and build them up whenever you can.
Joshua Bixler is a Christian, husband, father, and a Sunday School teacher for 5th grade boys. He is a veteran of two combat deployments to Afghanistan, and loves military history. He and his wife create tabletop RPG gaming products for their publishing label Bix Six Adventures on the DriveThruRPG website.