Romans 15:1-2 1WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves. 2Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].
My husband was teaching last week about the gifts of the spirit when he began to talk about the fruit of the spirit in our lives. He was talking about how the operation of the gifts of the spirit has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God, but the fruit of the spirit is the development in our character. He said each one of us is at a different place in our spiritual development and we can’t look at others and measure where they are at, because they might not have developed like we did in certain areas. Then I read this the other night and it made me stop and check myself. Am I going out of my way to edify others? Am I supporting those who might not be as strong as me? When I encounter others who might not be at the same place as I am spiritually, do I encourage them or am I quick to judge them because of where they are at? Instead of being frustrated with the way other people act, I should figure out how I can build them up.
The first way to edify someone is in prayer. I cannot tell you how many times I have been bothered by either someone’s attitude or actions, but I prayed specifically for them and saw them adjust. I remember a time when I hadn’t prayed for someone, but I mentioned to my husband what a drastic turnaround I had seen in them and he told me he had been praying for them that very day. James 5:16 says …….pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
Another way to lift someone up is to do what it says in Galatians 6:2-3 2Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it]. 3For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another’s load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself. Some definitions of carry are to take somebody to another place, to move them along, to support a weaker element, or make somebody succeed or endure. Another is to communicate or convey information, an idea or feeling. When we encounter those that are struggling we should do whatever we can to be an encouragement, to speak words of life, and to find ways to help them grow.