Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Building Up or Tearing Down

One of my favorite passages in God’s Word is II Corinthians 2:3-7.  A dear pastor from years gone by had sent me his message on this Scripture, and oh how many times it has been a blessing to me and my family.  As I write this post, however, I am not sure in which direction this passage will take me.  But, I do know that God is leading.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation.

I am a firm believer that one of the reasons we go through situations /experiences /crises or whatever we want to call it is to draw alongside of someone else who experiences something similar and be a comfort to them.  We don’t need to say things such as “If I were you …”  I believe God is saying  “I brought you through this other crisis, now it’s your turn to help someone else.”  And sometimes we really don’t have to say anything in order to be a blessing to someone else --- just being there is enough.

And I believe this happens many times in our lives.  We are either the ones in need of comfort, or God has equipped us to be there for someone else.  I have been both sides of this – and there are probably many others who have too.  Unfortunately, though, there are many times when someone needs encouragement or support, but what they get is just the opposite:  “She should have known better than to …”  “He brought it all on himself, now he needs to get himself out of this mess” “They’re just getting their payback now.”  I’m sure there have been times when I have pointed my finger at someone and have thought or said those very words.  But you know, I praise God for the crises that He has allowed me to go through so that my heart and my eyes would be opened to others’ needs. 

I can recall numerous times when I’ve just needed some encouragement … some comfort … some hope.  Not only do I have family & friends to turn to for these, but with today’s technology I can get those very things in just a matter of seconds.  I’ve introduced my daughter & her family's blog and I can say that I am very impressed with their military online community.  I have felt the pain of a young wife whose husband laid down his life while deployed.  He only saw his daughter in pictures – she was just 2 months old when her daddy became our hero.  I’ve felt the pain of the sister and mother of one of our fallen from the Ft. Hood massacre as they have tried to obtain a proper headstone for brother and son.  None of our Ft. Hood heroes ever thought that they would lay down their lives for us on our own soil.  Numerous times I’ve read of uncertainty for future plans - hurt - deployments – broken friendships – loneliness. 

There have been times also, I hate to say, that I have seen comments left in writing that are so negative and only tear down.  I just do not understand.  But, just as Paul has told us in the passage that as we endure our sufferings, it is with hope that we will also accept God’s comfort.  This is just my opinion, but I believe there are some people who do not want to accept God’s comfort through their trials.  It doesn’t make sense to me, because why wouldn’t anybody want the God of all comfort to bring them through a situation?  And if a person doesn’t allow God to bring them comfort and healing, then they cannot be a comfort to others.  Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why there’s negative comments left online, why there’s friction in everyday relationships, and why there’s no healing. 

I believe we were put on this earth to bring honor and glory to God.  How can we do this when we tear down instead of build up?  How can we reach out to those who are hurting if we ourselves won't accept God's healing?  I, for one, want my life experiences to count for something -- and that just could be reaching out to those who hurt.  

Dear Lord, Please help me to draw alongside of those that You send my way.  I want to comfort not hurt … encourage not discourage … support not point fingers.  You brought me through my tough times, now it’s my turn to be a blessing to others.  I call myself a follower of Jesus Christ, please let that be shown in my actions to others.  Amen. 

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