The translation I have (NRSV) says, “Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.” I like the concept of “provoking” others to do something good. But the way the author phrases it implies that we should be as will to provoke as to be provoked. This requires a relationship. In fact, all Christian interactions with others assume that there’s a relationship of some kind, even if that relationship is simply seeing the other person as God sees them. The question this prompts in me today is, “who is provoking or motivating me to do acts of love and good works?” I don’t want to ask this question as a way to decide whether people are worthy enough to be my friends! Instead I want to ask whether or not I’m also in community with some people of faith who encourage me in my faith – and to ask whether I listen to them or not! The following verse instructs us to not neglect to meet together, but to meet and encourage each other. This helps us avoid doing what we know to be wrong, to do the things we know to be right, and to remain confident in God’s love for us.