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Build Up Don't Tear Down

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  1 THESSALONIANS 5:11

The church at Thessalonica got it right when it came to building encouraging relationships. They were known for building one another up. What better reputation could a church have? They were providing strength and encouragement even during difficult times and persecution. 

When times are the toughest, we need to know that we have others in our corner. People who are with us and for us. That's why the call to be encouragers is a needed one. Today, we live in as polarized a society as ever before. Everyone runs to the extremes and takes shots, throws stones, and attacks the other extreme. We have become experts at tearing others down and have become novices at building encouraging relationships.

Is that the reputation we want to have as God's people? Is that what we want to be known for by the watching world? I would hope not. But how do we live differently? How do we build others up instead of tearing them down? Ephesians 4 gives us a starting point.
29 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. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  EPHESIANS 4:29-30

Tearing people down never builds up better relationships.

  1. Words Build Up or Tear Down: That's why Paul warns against unwholesome words.   Years ago comedian George Carlin joked about the 7 words you can't say on TV, but it seems like there are no “bad words” anymore.  Listen in school hallways, FB reels, TV, movies, and talk at work and it seems like no words are off limits anymore.  It's quickly excused: this is just how people talk or it’s their cultural expression.   BUT HERE IS THE QUESTION:   Is this making our world better or damaging it?  Is the unwholesome talk making us better or worse?  I think the answer there is obvious.  If unwholesome (unbeneficial) worlds are impacting our society, never miss the impact they have on your home and your closest relationships.   Choose words that build up and don't tear down.
  2. Words Benefit Others or Hurt Others:  EARS matter more than MOUTHS.  What does that mean?  It means that the needs of other people matter more than our need to get things off of our chest.  We need to encourage others by saying what is best for them from their point of view.  Even if that means we choose to speak the truth in love, we do it for their benefit not so that we can prove a point or show ourselves to be 100% right.  Ears matter more than mouths.
  3. Words Please or Grieve the Holy Spirit:  Remember your life isn’t your own.  Your body isn’t your own so even your words aren’t your own.   Please or grieve the Spirit who hears all of your words and even more knows the truest motives behind your words.

I submit to and serve others because this is the Jesus way of living.