One day during the worship service a little boy leaned over to his mother and whispered in a loud voice: “I hate lettuce!” The mother was perplexed by the off the cuff comment for just a moment and then she realized her son had heard but misinterpreted what the preacher had said. Her son heard “lettuce,” but the preacher had said “let us.”
In Hebrews 10, Paul uses “let us” three times:
1. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith
2. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering
3. Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works
The verses above are from the old King James Version which can be interesting because it uses the English of 1611. Notice the word “provoke” in #3 above. The usage of this word in 1611 was different than it is in 2013. Today we generally think of provoke as something negative; however, the way it used in this verse is positive. It is the idea of encouraging another person to do what is right.
How do you provoke people? Are you a porcupine who keeps people at a distance or needles them until you get your way? This is the approach that many people take in their relationships.
The preferred means of provoking is more of a golden retriever approach. This is a warm, fuzzy, and affirming relationship that builds people up and encourages them.
Think about it–How do you provoke people?