Hundreds of years ago Gregory of Nyssa, one of the early church fathers, wrote:
“At horse races the spectators intent on victory shout to their favorites in the contest. From the stands they participate in the race with their eyes, thinking to incite the charioteer to keener effort, at the same time urging the horses on, while leaning forward and flailing the air with their outstretched hands instead of a whip.
I seem to be doing the same thing myself, most valued friend and brother. While you are competing admirably in the ‘divine race’ along the course of virtue . . . I exhort, urge, and encourage you vigorously to increase your speed.”
There is a little word, “paraklesis,” that is used throughout the New Testament, from which we get our word encouragement or encourager. It literally means “called alongside to help.”
Here’s the truth of the matter: we are called to be “bleacher people,” leaning forward and flailing the air in encouragement for one another in our victories and even in our defeats. Are you?
Let us think of one another and how we can ENCOURAGE one another to love and do good deeds. Hebrews 10:24