“that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
Romans 1:12 NASB
Paul writes that he looks forward with great anticipation to being with the believers in Rome, for several reasons, one of which is mutual encouragement. Paul was planning on being an encouragement to the believers there but he also expected to be encouraged himself by them!
Our world, like Paul’s, is filled with people who have a critical spirit, who see and point out our faults. Being critical of others is easy, we all have faults. We all stumble and fall (Romans 3:23). We all mess up. Our natural tendency is to focus on our own faults and weaknesses when we look in the mirror. We know them well. We really don’t really need someone else to remind us of those. In fact, the knowledge of our own faults and weaknesses is one of the things that keeps people from serving God. We feel we are not good enough or that we will mess up, again. That’s one reason so many of us become hearers rather than doers (James 1:22).
We all need encouragement. We all need those people that see the positives in us, or at least the potential in us. And they verbalized these positive thoughts to us. Paul needed those kind of people in his life. You need those kind of people in your life. I need those kind of people in my life. Here’s the point–you and I need to be that kind of people for one another, especially as brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to know that as we see one another that we will experience encouragement in our faith and in our lives.
Make the effort to look for the good in one another. Believe me it’s there. We may just have to look a little harder. And when you find it, verbalized it! Say it, write it, show it! Or as Paul writes later “let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
Today’s author: Monty Pierce