Profound truths often come at the intersection of two or more important truths that seem to hold each other in tension or to refine each other. Dealing with other people’s shortcomings, failures, and sin is no exception. On the one hand, we hear Christ say, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 1:7). On the other hand, James tells us, “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:20). With these two passages in mind, consider John’s description of Jesus. Very briefly, he tells us Jesus was filled with “grace and truth” (John 1:14). We all know the pain of being corrected. It’s not at all pleasant, and yet Proverbs tell us that if we “rebuke the wise and they will love you” (Proverbs 9:8). If we are to authentically love people, we must carefully consider how we build others up. Building others up will at times involve helping them see a faulty foundation so there is something firm upon which to build. But foundation work is both sensitive and invasive. To do this, a person must really know what they are doing, and they must have the kind of relationship where these kind of conversations have hope of being productive. The process is both spiritual and pragmatic. It takes prayer, and it takes thoughtfulness. We must be careful of our own perspective and motives, and we must carefully consider the perspective and receptivity of our friends. To neglect their well-being is unloving, but to neglect their readiness is useless at best and destructive at worst. Scripture speaks broadly to how we build each other up. Careful thought to the topic will empower us to both authentically and productively love those we truly do love.
Spiritual Fitness Check
Training is aimless without clear goals. Spiritual Fitness checks make sure you’re training effectively and progressing toward your goals.
Signs You're Living It Out
Can name an encouraging comment made about another person to that person in the past 24 hours
Can recall a time in the past six months where they graciously exhorted a person and did so with both grace and truth
Can recall a time in the past month where they saw an opportunity to correct another person but opted not to do so for good reasons and not for reasons of timidity
Knows and can name one’s own tendencies that might dangerously sour their ability to bring healthy exhortation (competitiveness, arrogance, self-righteousness, etc.)
Spiritual Fitness Check
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This bible study gives a holistic look through Scripture at the Build Others outcome. Engage thought provoking questions for individual reflection and then discuss them in your Life Group or Spiritual Running Partner relationships.
Increasingly, we live in an era resistant to the idea that one person should “fix” another.
Instead we are to “accept” people. We let people do what they want to do. In previous eras, fixing another person, challenging... Read More
We’re tired of plastic religiosity. We are after the real thing and if the real thing is genuinely available we’ll drink deeply. This morph me exercise is a soul-satisfying experience if you want more of the real thing.... Read More
All growth is spiritual growth. Cloud and Townsend unlock age-old keys to growth from Scripture to help people resolve issues of relationships, maturity, emotional problems, and overall spiritual growth. They shatter popular misconceptions about how God operates and show that growth is not about self-actualization,... Read More
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they... Read More
Buy or make a set of 7 notecards. Write & send (or hand-deliver) a hand-written note to a neighbor, colleague, or family member each day for a week. On each card, write something you appreciate about that person, without any constructive criticism or backhanded/passive-aggressive compliments. When choosing... Read More