"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Time to share some "self reflections" with all of you! I am not addicted to much TV, I can live without it. Except for two things: cooking shows and fixer upper shows. I love to watch both of those things. I think it all stems from the incredible transformation that happens. Chefs begin with some key ingredients and put together a tremendous meal. Watching them cut, sauté, bake, and form things into a delight to both eye and palette is amazing to me.
Probably more amazing, though, is watching the programs where they take a house that was completely in disarray and create a warm and loving home. In this case, there is a house that was inhabitable and, though much hard work and building materials, a home that a family can grow in is constructed. That absolutely blows my socks off and helps me to be reminded of the gifts God gives certain folks, especially those that can vision something beautiful and actually create it to get it to their vision.
I couldn't help but think of how this happens every day, right around me. When you think of the cooking shows, and the amount of different things they use to create a masterpiece, it certainly is like each and every person we meet. God has given each of us a set of wonderful gifts to use on earth with those around us. It is up to us to realize these gifts and use them, together with those around us, to form something wonderful and special - a masterpiece.
Who should be doing this? How should we do this? Simply, all of us and with the above Bible verse in mind. Each one of us can encourage another person. It is part of what God expects from us as Christians. We should be taking the time to actually help in building someone up - to help them find their special gifts and use them with others. How do we do this? With words of encouragement, notes of growth, smiles of support. All of these things can help to build someone up.
We are all fixer uppers! We all have sin that can continue to move us away from what God wants us to do each and every day. We may have thoughts of prejudice, gossip, and lack of patience. We may actually not only have these thoughts, but words that can degrade and beat down people may even pass from our mouths. Think about it. Have you recently thought or shared something that doesn't necessarily build up a friend, a co-worker, or a family member? We certainly need to be "fixed" to be better people - not just for us, not just for those we are in contact with, but most importantly, we need to be fixed for God!
Who can fix us? God can. How? Through our prayers. Take a moment and share with God times when you were broken, times when you might not have "built up" those around you. Let Him know that you need His help to fix us - to build US up! When this happens, you will find yourself wanting to build up others, taking time to help others become new.
After all this fixing, what happens? A life filled with goodness, kindness, patience. A life filled with opportunities for all. A life filled with the blessings that God has for us. It may take a little extra time. We may need to "hold our tongues" before speaking. We may need to find patience in situations. The results are worth us waiting, worth the extra time. We can all do this. We can look past our own brokenness and ask for God's help. In turn, we can look at others with a sense of building up instead of breaking down. Let's commit during the week ahead to do a little building! The results can be astounding, beautiful, wonderful and pleasing in God's sight.
"Heavenly Father, be with us this week. As we look for opportunities to build other people up, let us also be reminded how we need your help in continuing to build us up - to be more of what you want us to be, children of God. May our thoughts, words, and action be pleasing to you and the people we are in contact with - continuing the fixer upper movement!"