I was reminded this morning in my quiet time of a verse that I constantly heard growing up, 1 Thessalonians 5:11:
"Encourage one another, and build each other up..."My mom always added on another important phrase to this verse. She would always remind us to "build each other up, don't tear each other down!" I'm not an advocate of adding to the Bible, but I think this actually came from a song on "The Donut Man" or something, and so she ran with it. So it's okay.
But really, how often do we build each other up? I'm not talking about praising every little thing someone does, or even advocating anything they choose to do. I'm talking about edification. Sometimes building someone up means pointing out a fault and offering to help them change it in Christlike love. It means praying for others, encouraging them, and simply speaking words of kindness and grace.
So we got the build each other up thing down, but what about tearing others down? This hurts me, because I love sarcasm. I love to hear it and to speak it. Sarcasm is, in fact, sin. It tears others down, even when I say it in a joking manner! But sarcasm is not the only way I can tear others down. Pointing out people's faults just for the sake of laughter or in order to make myself look better is just as destructive. Making fun of others. Laughing at someone. Embarrassing someone in front of others. None of these things are edifying, and in no way display Christlike love! God will have none of this "Boom, Roasted" nonsense.
Encourage one another and build each other up.... don't tear each other down!!
I've got a lot of work to do on my conversations with people. Oh goodness.