Don’t Wait Until The Funeral

CookiesDid you hear about the man who was on his death-bed?  Suddenly the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies filled the air, wafting down the hall into his bedroom.  Mustering all the strength he could summons, he pulled himself out of bed, slowly staggered down the hall, and made it to the kitchen.

To his delight hundreds of cookies were spread out on the kitchen table.  Ah, he thought, one final act of love and devotion from his caring wife.  He would indeed leave this world a happy man!  As he staggered toward the table and reached his withered hand for a cookie, suddenly his wife turned and smacked it with a spatula.

“Stay out of those,” she scolded, “They’re for the funeral!”

Now if this story seems a bit silly, or almost irreverent, consider the fact that so many people save their acts of kindness, expressions of love and words of praise until the funeral!  Beautiful Flowers.  Magnanimous eulogies.  Benevolent deeds.  Those don’t mean a lot to the person who has passed on!  Have you ever heard someone say, “I wish I had done more when they were alive”?  Or “I hope she knows how much I loved her”?

Now is the time to express love. Lift spirits.  And encourage those who need it most.  Don’t wait until the funeral! 

Encouragement is Important

God places a high value on encouragement. It is important to our Christian walk and to our ability to remain faithful. Christianity was never meant to be a solo act. We need each other. Paul exhorted, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thess. 5:11).

One of the best definitions of “encouragement” I’ve ever read is ”pouring courage into someone who needs it.” To encourage is to inspire, embolden, and hearten.

Dr. David Jeremiah was right when he wrote, “The body of Christ is a family whose members are to be mutually involved with one another. One of the one-another ministries God calls us to practice is the ministry of encouragement.”

Ministry of encouragement? Yes! In Romans 12, Paul spoke of the various gifts we have been given and types of ministries in which we are to engage and said, “if it is encouraging, let us encourage.”

How Are We Encouraged?

1. By what we sense. Job’s three friends came to encourage him in a time of deep despair. In the end, they became a discouragement! But they did do something right in the beginning, they came and sat with him for seven days and said nothing! Job sensed their encouragement.

We often speak of “being there” for another. When we are, emotionally, as well as physically, they sense our encouragement.

2. By what we read. The letters of the New Testament were often written for the purpose of encouragement. Encouragement to remain faithful. To overcome sin. To correct wrongs. To grow in faith. Reading the Word will encourage you.

We may also encourage others by the notes, cards, letters and emails that we send. I am blessed to receive so much encouragement in this fashion. I never, ever take it for granted. I never tire of hearing it. And I am always lifted when I read the encouraging words from my friends and spiritual family.

3. By what we hear. “Anxiety in the heart of man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad” (Prov. 12:25). A good word lifts. Brings a smile to the face. Clears a tear from the eyes. Encourages the heart that is heavy.

4. By what we feel. The touch of another’s hand. A warm embrace. A pat on the back. These non verbal actions transmit encouragement to others. The wise man said, “there is a time to embrace” (Eccl. 3:5). Ever notice how many times it says Jesus touched someone? The Bible even speaks of “the holy kiss” among the brethren. The point is we are encouraged by what we feel from others.

Look around and see who is discouraged, disheartened, or demoralized and pour some courage into them.  Encourage a friend, family member, or fellow Christian today!  Don’t wait until the funeral!

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

7 Comments

Filed under Encouragement

7 responses to “Don’t Wait Until The Funeral

  1. julie davidson

    Dear Bro. Ken: THANKS for “lifting me up”! 🙂 stay safe, in this weather…i’m home, keeping the “home fire’s burning”, literally…husband, Steve, made it to work @ the pharmacy in walmart of ft. scott, safely! 🙂 he went prepared, though, to just spend the night…he opens & works until 6:00 p.m., tomorrow night, just like today! i’ve gotten used to “sharing” him, as he serves other’s in his profession, over the last 35 years! thanks again for always writing these blogs that are well worth the read! 🙂 love in Him, Julie

  2. mbvnmero@verizon.net

    Ken,  I agree we must act now rather than later. However as I’m sure you will agree all of those things done for the family when a loved one dies are of utmost comfort and importance to those left behind.  Enjoyed your post and a gre

  3. Bill Hood

    At the risk of “lifting you up”, this is a very good lesson for all of us. Thanks for your continued efforts to lift us up with your knowledge and insight..

  4. Thanks Ken I need to read this every day and then practice it tFay Bryant

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.