“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.” Romans 14:19 NIV
We who are Christ-followers are often surrounded by non-believing relatives during this time of the year. Let us, who are more mature in Christ, demonstrate that maturity by acting in love and trusting the Holy Spirit to work in those who don’t know Christ.
Our effort cannot be half-hearted. We, who are called to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, must behave in a way that doesn't give unbelievers an opportunity to reject the gospel of Christ.
WHAT LEADS TO PEACE
In the surrounding verses, the Apostle Paul is talking about food, which we can extrapolate to anything that puts a stumbling block in front of those who have not yet embraced Christ Jesus as their Savior.
WHAT LEADS TO MUTUAL EDIFICATION
We are to build each other up and encourage one another. Let us not look at our differences but see what we have in common. For Christ-followers, we share in our common love of Jesus Christ. For those who do not yet believe, we share in our human weakness and our need for love. So for the Christ-follower, we share the love of Christ. And for those who don’t know Christ yet, we share the love of Christ. In all things and in all ways, we share the love we have received from Christ, to build each other up through mutual edification.
HOW DO WE EDIFY EACH OTHER WITH CHRIST’S LOVE
Here are the practical ways we can engage in mutual edification:
1. Active Listening: Practice truly hearing what others say without judgment or the intent to reply, but with the purpose of understanding and empathizing with their perspective.
2. Encouraging Words: Offer compliments, affirmations, and positive reinforcement to acknowledge and uplift others, especially during challenging times.
3. Service in Love: Actively look for opportunities to serve others in love, be it through helping with practical needs, offering your time, or sharing resources.
4. Prayer and Spiritual Support: Pray for one another and provide spiritual support. Share scriptures and spiritual insights that offer encouragement and guidance.
5. Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Promote peace by being quick to forgive and seek reconciliation, letting go of grudges, and encouraging others to do the same.
6. Teaching and Mentoring: Share your knowledge and experiences to guide others in their faith journey, offering wisdom and insight in a loving and humble manner.
7. Hospitality and Sharing: Open your home and life to others, sharing meals, celebrations, and everyday life, fostering a sense of community and belonging.
8. Honest and Constructive Feedback: Provide honest yet loving feedback to help each other grow, always speaking the truth in love and with the intention to edify.
9. Celebrating Each Other’s Successes: Be joyful and celebratory about the achievements and milestones of others, acknowledging and praising their growth and success.
10. Being Present in Times of Need: Stand by each other during trials and tribulations, offering a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or whatever support is needed.
As ministry and marketplace leaders, our actions need to embody Christ's love and contribute to a community of mutual edification, where each member feels valued, supported, and encouraged to grow in faith and love, no matter where they are in the journey. We can’t judge others and know when and where Christ is calling them to follow Him. All we can do is love everyone with Christ’s love, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and mutually edify each other.
Your aspiring servant, Daniel M.
December 25, 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.