Building Up and Into Others

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Many relational problems spring from a short term view of life. People want quick results and instant gratification. They must see a big return on all investments, even human investments. When that fails, they soon lose interest and wander off. The Bible encourages a different approach.

To “build up” another person does not imply merely tolerating their imperfections. It suggests making a longer term investment in their well-being, particularly their spiritual well-being. To build another up implies a sincere effort to help another person spiritually.

To build “into” a person expresses a willingness to invest in them. We see potential in them because God does. Knowing this encourages us to take efforts to build into others. We spend time with them and pour our lives into them. Of course, we can apply this to all sorts of relationships.

Let’s remember a few helpful reminders:

1. God will reward our labors, not necessarily the results.
If our labors were performed in love and with a sincere desire to build into another person, we will probably see some encouraging results. But results can prove stubborn in this life. The Bible indicates God will reward all faithful labors performed in His name:

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do” (Hebrews 6:10).

We need to keep sowing, and then pray for a good harvest.

2. We should continue the investment though our efforts go unappreciated.
A few examples from the Bible will illustrate this point. God put up with much during the period of Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness. Moses, too, put up with much during that same period. The Apostle Paul endured manifold opposition, even from churches he started. But he hung with them through thick and thin. He didn’t quit on them, even though they did not always return his love.

3. Ask God to bless your efforts.
The harvest belongs to God. Ask Him to give you the strength to build into another’s life. Pray for that person. Ask God to bless your endeavors, knowing that His blessing will make all the difference.

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