Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
The Christian life is always about community. It begins with our relationship with God and extends to the community of Christians and also to unbelievers. God knows that we need a social group and that we need to feel safe in that group to really prosper. In the letter to the Thessalonians, Paul stresses the importance of encouraging one another. There is a difference between flattery and encouragement that builds up. Flattery grows our pride of self, but true encouragement reminds us of our blessed relationship with God and of the gifts that he has given us to use for the benefit of others as well as ourselves.
I hope I won’t be tempted to idly flatter people so that they will like me. I hope I will truly encourage them with words of wisdom and reminders that I am praying for them. In times of physical need, I hope I will help in real ways to ease the burdens of others. I hope they will know that I care about them and that I truly wish God’s blessings on their lives. God’s kingdom grows when we support each other.