… I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you — that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
I love this explicit layout of what Proverbs treats poetically (27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.)
Paul seems to stop here and clarify. I could give you something … that is, we could give each other something. I want to be encouraged by you and I want you to be encouraged by me.
In I Thessalonians, Paul says to “encourage one another and build one another up.” The picture of the body from I Corinthians 12 takes on a practical outworking. We are supposed to strengthen, encourage one another, and push one another toward Jesus.
Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-16 that our goal should be to “attain unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God” so that we won’t be swayed by “every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes”, but “speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” who “makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
One of our privileges and responsibilities as believers is to act as supports for each other, building one another up in love, pushing each other toward Jesus in such a way that it produces spiritual growth.
So incredibly thankful for the many friends I have who take that privilege and responsibility very seriously.
Originally posted to my Facebook page, September 1, 2012