1 THESSALONIANS 5:11
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
Imagery can be so important when you are trying to explain something to someone. Paul, through the Holy Spirit, is doing that so well in this verse. He instructs us to literally build up others (to help them stand firm) and also to encourage them (to come alongside them). I get this picture of a tree that is planted in the ground and then braced and supported tightly until it takes firm root.
Unfortunately, too many of us are too concerned with tearing others down and kicking the supports out from under them. We don’t want others “standing over” us. We would rather see them fall that appear to be over us. I pray anyone I have the privilege to mentor becomes MUCH more than me.
Let me ask you a question. Do you want your children to succeed? Do you want them to achieve more than you? Most parents would quickly say, “Well, of course, Carl.” Their achievement over your achievements makes you proud, not jealous. Their surpassing of your goals is a reflection of you, not an overshadowing of anything you have done.
Why is it, then, that we can’t do the same thing with our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ? Why do we compete with them for the top rung on the ladder? Teach your children to be that person who, for the betterment of the Body, is willing to stay at the bottom of the ladder to hold and support it, rather than kick people off on the way up.
How do you encourage and build up your fellow believers? Who are you personally mentoring right now? If you aren’t sure what the answer is to either of those questions, let me encourage you right now to take a moment to ask the Lord to put someone in your life to whom you can do that. We can’t do this Christian life alone and neither can others.
Lord, You have created us to need each other. Let me encourage someone today. Instead of tearing someone down, help me build someone up.