A soldier was court-martialed and dishonorably discharged from the army of a foreign country. This followed a brief engagement of that army in war. The man was not discharged for treason, desertion or sleeping at his post of duty. He was accused of being a “discourager” of men.
He did nothing more than go among his fellow soldiers with discouraging words and criticism of the military effort. He broke the spirit and tore down the morale of many who would listen to him. His presence was more of a hindrance than a help to accomplish the task at hand.
It is alarming how often this same situation prevails in the Lord’s army, the church. People do not violently fight against the Lord’s program of work. They just mingle with other members and continually complain about the work of the church, criticizing the leaders, and voicing skepticism concerning plans and goals. In a very real sense these are “discouragers of men.”
It is difficult to detect such action because it can be accomplished in some of the most subtle ways, and under many disguises. Thus, the Lord’s cause is hindered. Often there are too many critics and not enough workers.
The discourager may not really intend to be an enemy and a traitor but he is exactly that. Jesus, the captain of our salvation, says: “he that is not with me is against me.” Those who serve in the Lord’s army as discouragers of men will receive a dishonorable discharge from His services. Are you really for the Lord?
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