Building Others Up
One of our callings as Christians is to love as Christ loved. Discovering this kind of love and giving freely of it can be difficult when you’ve come up knowing only the world’s definition of love. This love is not a feeling; it is a mere choice that we must make each day. To do for others out of selfless love; not necessarily for them, but out of our love for God.
How do you show this love? Through your actions and the words you choose. God requires that you choose them carefully, as they should only be helpful for building others up according to their needs and should be beneficial to those who hear them (Ephesians 4:29).
Biblical Building Blocks
Building up others builds up God’s kingdom. Much good is done in building one another up. God is glorified, the body of Christ is strengthened and united and its members are blessed. Directions taken from God’s Word act as biblical blocks and allow us to build upon each other, growing in God. Each person God brings into your path can bless you and vice versa, even if only in a small way.
You cannot help those you don’t know have a need. One of the benefits of fellowshipping is getting to know your fellow Christians. As you become friends in Christ, you will realize that these friendships are not superficial, as many worldly friendships are. Your brothers and sisters will share their joys and pains with you and this will benefit you greatly, but it will also open up doors of opportunity to build up others as you will be made aware of their individual needs.
Share Your Story, Show Your Heart
Sharing your personal testimony not only allows you to recall the ways in which your life has been changed since you came to know Christ, but hearing it is sure to help someone who is silently living through what you have. Your story can help them avoid making similar mistakes and they may feel compelled to share their struggle as they will feel more comfortable after having seen your heart. They may even ask for your help, or you may offer it to them.
Be There In a Time of Need
What would qualify as a time of need? The obvious answer is times of grieving, as we are called to mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15); but there are struggles that we as Christians will face and we will need the shoulder of another brother or sister to cry on, lean on and an ear to listen.
Be all of this by reaching out to someone in your fellowship who is experiencing a difficult season in their life; perhaps they are going through a divorce or other form of loss, or are entangled in sin through addiction, such as pornography or alcohol abuse.
Offer Correction in Love
Somehow, it is often easier to see the sin within another’s life even when we fail to notice our own. Still, we must call other Christians out on their sin when we see it continuously resurfacing in their lives. Recognize the difference between judgment and correction, then pray and ask God to give you the right words to say as you attempt to speak his truth and shed his light into the dark corners of that brother or sister’s life.
Every Christian faces challenges and we often need someone to point us back to the path that is pleasing to God and remind us of our commitment to him. You will not be condemned when you caringly express concern and offer Godly correction. You will be helping to strengthen a spirit and possibly to save a soul.
Pray and Encourage
Remember to pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ, that they would be enlightened and grow spiritually. Also pray that God would use you as he sees fit in helping each individual. Carrying out his will and meeting their need, with no self satisfying intent on your part.
When we care for others we sometimes begin to think we know what they need, but only God truly knows this. He has a plan for each person and you don’t want to stand in the way of that plan being carried out by trying to persuade the brother or sister to live the way you do or think they should.
When getting involved in an especially difficult situation, avoid helping someone to the point of stunting their spiritual growth.
You don’t want them to see you as their crutch. Direct them towards Christ, whose strength is far more sufficient than yours and who is capable of healing them, not simply holding them up. Encourage them to do that which you know for sure is good by God’s Word, then pray and stand by them as God does the rest!