“Comfort Each Other and Build One Another Up, Just As You Also Are Doing”   I Thess. 5:11

Recently the faculty and staff at the Bible College, as well as representatives from the Holy Land Trust, the Peace Center, and teachers from the American School attended a Relational Needs workshop, conducted by a group from Austin, TX.  This was the fourth workshop in a series of seven. The leader began with the admonitions in Scripture that tell us to “encourage one another,” “love one another,” and “comfort one another.”

All over the world people have the same needs, the same hopes and the same dreams. God, our Creator, created us to relate. He wants us to experience gratitude – to live in community with Himself and with His people. We learned that “nature” is how we are designed – how God made us – and “nurture” is how these needs are met around us.

We worked in groups and discussed how our God-given needs for love and encouragement and comfort were met while we were growing up, which helped determine how we as adults give and receive encouragement from others.

We learned what comfort is not. People do not need facts, logic or reasoning when they are hurting. Comfort isnot giving criticism or advice, and complaining does not help. And don’t give encouragement when someone needs comfort. Comfort may sound like: “I feel sad for you when…” “I feel sorry for you when….”

What if we are sensitive to what may be happening on the inside with someone who is hurting, rather than react to what we see on the outside? If we remember and apply the principles we learned to the relationships within our homes as well as in the workplace, we will create an atmosphere of caring and support that will benefit us all. And thus we will fulfill Christ’s command to “encourage, love and comfort one another.”