Years ago a young man fell into a deep depression. Even though he was a lawyer and had many good qualities working in his life, his despair was serious enough that his friends felt they should keep all knives and razors away from him. This man was questioning his life. In the depths of his dejection, he wrote, “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.”
This man clearly needed help from others. Whoever brought this man out of his pit of despair is a mystery. Whatever words of encouragement or expressions of edification that came to this man’s ear are unknown. In one form or another, encouragement and edification were responsible for bringing this man out of his depression. As a result, this man, Abraham Lincoln, went on to become one of the greatest Presidents our country has ever known.
I cannot imagine a time or situation when a word of encouragement will do anything but help. No matter what state of mind or painful experience a person is going through, edification can provide healing like nothing else can. Perhaps this is why God calls on us to encourage each other every single day. As the familiar passage states, “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
A daily dose of “Vitamin E” within the Lord’s church can increase our effectiveness exponentially. Preachers, teachers, deacons, and elders wouldn’t become so burnt out. Teens, young adults, and new Christians would be less likely to fall away. More people would be fostered and developed into tomorrows worship leaders, elders, deacons, and preachers. The spiritual potential in our children could explode. Who knows, a daily dose of encouragement could even grow someone into one of the greatest Christian leaders of this generation. Beyond all else, a bit of encouragement could even save someone’s soul.
At times there is a Vitamin E deficiency in the church. We need more of it, and we need it every day (Hebrews 3:13). Who have we encouraged today?