1Glories

Refining Life, on Purpose

Have Greater Lasting Impact by Building Up Others

You have an opportunity to make a lasting impact in many lives. It takes strong faith, personal action, and a commitment to long-term vision.

One of the best ways to have lasting impact is by investing in the lives of others. This is pretty common knowledge, especially in a culture that lauds coaching, mentoring and leadership. This is usually in a corporate setting, but it’s probably even more true in a humanitarian context.

That’s probably why God commands it through the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

He offers similar advice at the end of chapter 4 (v. 18), telling them to encourage one another. However, Paul’s words speak to a much different perspective than this single verse lets on. It’s about more than coaching. It’s much more. Let’s explore it further using a second translation:

God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 MSG

The Lasting Impact of Building Others Up Requires FAITH

Leading into verse 11, Paul is reminding us that God has a master plan, one centered on Christ’s redeeming work. He is also reminding us of the enormity of that selfless act. He lived, worked and died for the lives of his sheep. It’s what ensures our eternal life with him. And that’s a fact so ensuring, you can take right to the credit union!

As we seek to build up one another – grounded in the faith – we must have a strong grounding of faith as well. And we can be sure that it’s stable.

You have an opportunity to make a lasting impact in many lives. It takes strong faith, personal action, and a commitment to long-term vision.

You have an opportunity to make a lasting impact in many lives. It takes strong faith, personal action, and a commitment to long-term vision.

The Lasting Impact of Building Others Up Requires LONG-TERM ACTION

In the passage, the word “build” in the Greek is oikodomeo, which is typically associated with trades like the construction of a house, tower or barn. That means building people up is not a one-and-done sort of thing. It is instead achieved through a process, perhaps requiring many actions and phases.

As believers, we need to remember that building each other up and encouraging each other also takes long-term planning and intentional action.

In order to build up with lasting impact, it has to be several actions. Actively engage with one another. Focus in your conversations. Actively listen. Join together in prayer. Work alongside one another. The possibilities are virtually limitless.

The Lasting Impact of Building Others Up Requires DISCIPLINE and COMMITMENT

Paul is acknowledging that the Thessalonian believers were encouraging each other and building up one another. So he’s not asking or telling them to do anything different. Instead, he’s telling them to keep moving with the process that has already begun.

I think this suggests a bit more, though. If we consult another of Paul’s letters, his first letter to the Corinthians, he tells us that we are to “[b]e watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 5:11-12).

If we are truly wanting to build people up, in addition to having faith and being actively engaged in their lives, we have to always be on alert. This involves being on the lookout for negative influences, continually pursuing a refining life of purpose, and (among other things) having the courage to stand for the faith.

Make it a priority to hold others in high regard and go out of your way to invest in them.

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He’s the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.