“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
― Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
PEOPLE have a default way about them. They desire to be built up by others, never realising that they have the selfsame role of building others up. This is a crazy rationale. Why would we not understand the simple role of reciprocity in playing our part, whilst having faith that someone will build us up. But that is life – we tend to notice it all the more when we are on the receiving end.
Turning the tables, we get to see the opportunity of giving up on complaints regarding recognition and encouragement we miss out on, whilst simultaneously investing in kindnesses toward others. When discouragement cannot beat us, we can always encourage others, and do it all the more to the glory of God, really.
The greatest privilege to be enjoyed,
Is to ensure others are buoyed,
For what is life if we don’t build up?
With the Spirit’s help, we are to overflow their cup.
There is no greater role, nor purpose, nor privilege than building others up. This is not about worthless generalisations or charmless flattery. This is about considered thoughts that have become acts of kindness, for their building up – to help them soar. Many times it’s not about what we say, but what we don’t say.
Giving Ourselves Away
This is the golden opportunity of a lifetime; try it for a day, a week, a month. Resolve not to be discouraged at others’ clinginess for praise, but give it to them with an authentic heart, quietly repelling the craving for such recognition if at all possible.
Sometimes we are worn down, and we do complain – there isn’t the recognition we certainly deserve. When we give up and give in, we have a duty to forgive ourselves – to receive God’s forgiveness – because we have taken to the sin of working in our own strength.
As we give ourselves away, we find it works simply because God has honoured our will to love for the sake of it. God so loves a cheerful giver, he blesses their heart of hearts. This is not the reason we give ourselves away in building another up, but it is confirmation that in giving ourselves away we are never closer to his will.
Building others up is holy work – to put them up; to build into them. There may be no better gift. It’s a gift, also, that gives back in a multiplicity of ways.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.