March 5th 2010

We Have A Choice!

“Therefore comfort [margin: encourage] each other and edify one another…” “…on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort…”

1 Thessalonians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 2:7 (NKJV)

My mother used to tell the story of the time when she was very young with her older sister, Connie. They were playing in the front parlour, and her mother’s sister came to call. Talking to her mother, this aunt said of Connie: “Oh Maud, isn’t it sad that that child is so plain!” 

My aunt, Connie, never forgot that put-down, and ever after until almost the day she died, the first action in the morning, even before breakfast, was for her to put on her makeup, dress well and attend to her hair, even if she was only expecting the milkman or the postman to call. 

On the other hand, when I was very young myself my teacher, Miss Treacher, recognised a talent in me that I didn’t know I had. She encouraged me to pursue it, and as a result just a year or two later I won a county-wide competition. 

It always surprises me that Christians are usually among the most critical of their fellow men and women. There are many things to condemn of course. But the one who condemns is our adversary, the devil. The one we are supposed to be following is the arch encourager, Jesus. He was an encourager and ‘builder-up’ (edifier) of people. We have a choice, we either follow Satan or Jesus—there’s no middle course.

Most merciful Father, thank you for continuing to clarify what you want us to think, to say and to do. May we in all three become greater encouragers of each other, and more successful edifiers of everyone we meet, following Jesus’ example. In his name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford 

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