Spurring One Another On

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”—Hebrews 10:24–25 (NIV, emphasis added)

As each day passes, my to-do list grows and shrinks, but never has it been completely accomplished. There never seems to be enough time in the day to finish all that life asks of me. Unfortunately, this always-busy, never-still personality has been me since childhood. Knowing this, when I was younger my dad gave me an extremely valuable and wise piece of advice. I remember one night my dad telling me, “There’s always enough time in the day to do what God has asked of you.” 

I’ve held onto that for years, trying to sort out what is truly important over what can wait until another day, seeking to prioritize my walk with the Lord and putting His kingdom first. As I read today’s verse, I was reminded of how important it is to pause and “consider.” If we’re too busy about the loud day-to-day tasks, we’re probably missing the quieter opportunities that we have to speak life into situations we otherwise wouldn’t notice. These are the opportunities I will regret missing more than the other items on my list.

In today’s verse, the word consider means to “observe, understand, or fix your mind on something.” That’s not going to be possible unless you set aside time and find quietness. He calls us to be intentional and thoughtful about how we can build up our brothers and sisters in the faith. 

But the author doesn’t just want you to stay in the pondering. We’re called back to action when he says to “spur one another on.” I love this translation because they use the word “spur” instead of “encourage.” The transliteration of this Greek word is “incitement” or even “irritation.” 

If you were told to encourage someone you might compliment their clothing choices or character attributes, but if you were told to spur someone on, would you respond the same? Spurring another on doesn’t simply look like a compliment; it’s an action that should cause another action. Much like we read a few weeks ago, we should be iron sharpening iron (Proverb 27:17). 

When riding a horse, spurs are used to encourage the horse to move in a certain direction. Similarly, our words and actions should be used with the purpose of causing action and movement. However, if you don’t have relationship with those you’re spurring on, it will only feel like a thorn in their sides. That’s why the author clarifies that this should be done while continuing to meet together. 

So today I want to encourage you to find the time to do what God has asked of you. 

DIG: What does it mean to consider how you can spur others to love and good works?

DISCOVER: Are you regularly meeting with other believers? Do you spur others on? If not, what keeps you from it?

DO: Set aside time every day this week to consider your friends and family and how you might spur them on.