Let each one take care how he builds

Monastery, Petra, Jordan

The Monastery, Petra, Jordan

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.”
1 Corinthians 3:10

Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about their foundation — the truth of the gospel of Jesus and what he did on the cross for them — for the redemption and forgiveness of their sins and, subsequently, for their freedom in salvation.

They have been redeemed back to God’s original intent for them — that they should enjoy intimacy and fellowship with him through Jesus Christ as their mediator and through the Holy Spirit who lives within each of them.

But the influences of the Corinthian world have crept back in threatening the foundation that Paul first laid within them.

Paul reminds them that every one of them is responsible for building on that original foundation and that they should take care that what they say and do affirms the gospel rather than tears it down.

Every day I influence people whether I think so or not.  I know it happens both with those who believe and those who don’t.  I know it when someone asks for my pardon when they’ve just taken the Lord’s name in vain or said the f-word in front of me.  I know it, when I feel the weight of the importance of my words, when explaining the gospel or answering questions from someone who’s new in their relationship with Christ.

It is a heavy weight, this ability to influence.  It’s a huge responsbility that I should not take lightly.   What I say or do matters.  It matters because I’m part of a community of believers and unbelievers who ARE impacted by my actions — either positively or negatively.

So how does this translate in my life?  I must be constantly aware of my influence and my responsibility to build on another’s foundation.  I must not get comfortable with my circle of friends and forget my accountability to help build them up.    I must engage beyond surface friendships — by being available to friends in their their times of struggles, need and joy.  I must be willing to work things out, call behaviors out in a way that brings glory to God.   I must be vulnerable — to be challenged, to have things called out in my life and to share the difficulties of my life.

I must put aside my selfishness, laziness, pride, complacency and all those other destructive things that get in the way of truly intimate friendships and building someone else up.

How can I do this?

“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14-19

Jesus, help me to walk out these behaviors from my heart.  I don’t want to turn this responsibility into ‘works’ but truly want my heart changed so that I take my ability to influence seriously and act on the words of the Holy Spirit when he prompts me.  Help me to be a good friend to all who are around me.  Help me to remember, always, that what I say or do, influences them…either negatively or positively…


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