That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him Who is the Head--Christ--from Whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
First, let's get clear on the meaning of edification.* It's a communication tool for the body of Christ: a way to accelerate spiritual improvement; it's uplifting instruction to enlighten believers. Surely, God intends us to become deeper and wiser. Makes sense.
What doesn't make sense is a puffed-up, know-it-all put-down. Believers shrink from arrogance, or simply walk away. Because holier-than-thou attitudes discourage us. And if we stop learning, we remain vulnerable babes.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: consider four things:
#1: To belittle brethren requires a lordship position. Bullies are insecure people. They need prayer and kind truthfulness. But they should not be our leaders. They lack one essential asset: humility. Don't copy them or follow them, because they're not following Him.
#2: To understand brethren requires a face-to-face meeting. Jesus is our prime Example. He ate with sinners and students. He wanted to meet them where they were, to show them they were loved. Before people will follow, they need to see you care for them.
#3: To edify brethren requires a lifting of support. Find the good and encourage it. See what's wrong and gently reprove. When you reveal your own weakness, you set the stage for Truth to come. He's knocking at the door right now. Because He is the real Teacher.
#4: To criticize outsiders lacks wisdom and compassion. They have not yet met your Teacher. Without Him, the world is their guide. It surely was for B.C. me. If you show them the love of Christ, without religious haughtiness, they may seek the King you follow.
To Be Continued...
* Online dictionary definition of edification: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/edification?s=t
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the All Things series.