Did you know that the Bible instructs us to provoke each other? We are to provoke each other to love, that is. Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works.”
What do you normally think of when you hear the word “provoke”? I usually picture an argument I have had with another person. There comes a point in a given argument when I make a decision: Do I let the conversation drop and walk away from it, or do I say something to further make my case and incense the other person? Generally, provoking is thought to be making another person angrier than he already is, or making him say something out of anger.
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” Oh, the power of the tongue! It is so easy to say something in our defense or something that attacks another person when we are upset. However, the Bible exalts a very different kind of provocation. We have the high calling of provoking one another to love.
What can we do to fulfil this admonition from Scripture? Part of the answer is found in verse 25, “And forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more…” God knows that we need the fellowship of other Christians, and so He instructs us to assemble ourselves with fellow believers as much as possible. Don’t pass up an opportunity to be in God’s house on Sunday or for a mid-week Bible study. It is at these meetings of Christians where we can “exhort” or “build up” other believers and provoke them to love. We need to be around others that name the name of Christ. Talking with them and studying the Bible with them encourages and strengthens our faith.
The next time you find yourself in an argument, refuse to provoke the other person to anger. Choose to let the conversation drop rather than defend yourself or attack the other person. Instead, be found faithful in church so you can use your words to provoke someone else to love and good works, which glorify God.
For more articles from this blogger, please see: