Build Up One Another (Part 2)
By sis Shanice Soh
Edify Others by Our Speech
The Bible says an untamed tongue is evil without restraint (James 3:8). An untamed tongue can stumble or discourage our brethren. It can also cause estranged relationships. It is stated in Proverbs 18:19, "A brother who has been insulted is harder to win back than a walled city, and arguments separate people like the barred gates of a palace." We need to rein ourselves on the words we use lest we unwittingly belittle or offend others with our speech. We also need to be mindful of our tone of voice, eye contact, posture, facial expression, and gesture to ensure our manner of speech and non-verbal language are not offensive. “Few realize how loud their expressions are. Be kind with what you wordlessly say.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich
On the other hand, a tamed tongue can do much good to build up others as we can see in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
By speaking kind words to our brethren, it brings cheer to those with a heavy heart (Prov 12:25), gives life to the spirit (Prov 15:4), and promotes their spiritual and physical well-being (Prov 16:24). Wise words bring healing (Prov 12:18) and are very valuable (Prov 20:15). These verses bring to mind the virtuous wife described in Pro 31:26, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Be a Godly Example
“You are an example. Whether you are a good example or not is up to you.” – Steve Ferrante.
One of the most effective ways we can encourage or persuade men to do God’s will is by being a godly example. We see this manifested in the account recorded in Acts 4:34-35 where many disciples of Christ exhibited benevolence and love by selling their land/houses to help the needy brethren. This chain of good deeds was probably set off by one good example.
Conversely, if we live and respond to situations in a manner that does not conform to God’s word, we may cause or influence others to falter in their faith or to commit sin. In Gal 2:12-14, we read of how apostle Peter who had been eating with the Gentiles immediately withdrew himself when some Jews appeared, which led to the Jews who were with him and also Barnabas to do likewise. By this very act, apostle Peter had led them to commit the sin of hypocrisy.
Everyone has influence. We need to positively influence others in their spiritual walk with God. (Rom 1:12, 1 Ti 4:12)
Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Heb 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Assembling together makes mutual exhortation possible. By singing spiritual songs when worshipping God, we are teaching and cautioning one another (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16) with the words of praise to God. Whenever we gather together, we have the opportunity to build good relationships and to excite one another to do good works (Heb 10:24). In fact, by our presence at church events and fellowship sessions, we are encouraging others to be faithful in attendance.
Motivation and Attitudes
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. president, once said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Our desire to build up our brethren should be motivated by love (1 Cor 16:14). We should not do it out of contention or self-conceit (Phil 2:3). We learn that if the motive for our good works is not love, they will have no value (1 Cor 13:3) for God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7).
God commands us to love our brethren (1 The 4:9, John 15:12), to love them deeply (1 Pe 4:18) to be affectionate and respectful to them (Rom 12:10), to consider them better than ourselves (Phil 2:3), and to be concerned about their welfare (Phil 2:4). We are also instructed to restore one who is overtaken by the transgression of God’s law in the spirit of gentleness (Gal 6:1), to bear their burdens (Gal 6:2), to pray for them (James 5:16), and to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). We are also enjoined to be merciful, patient, and forgiving (Col 3:12 - 13), which are very important qualities required to give others time and chances they need to make progress in their spiritual lives. Moses, King David, Jonah, apostle Peter, apostle Paul, and John Mark were among many others in the Bible who were given chances to make amends for the wrongs they did and went on to become faithful servants of God.
Building up others is a good work that we need to extend to all men, and not limit it to just the family of God. Galatians 6:10 reads, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” And when our brethren give us a much-needed uplift, let us respond positively and evince our appreciation for their love, concern, and efforts.