A mark of spiritual maturity is a willingness to sacrifice personal comfort in order to strengthen other believers. Paul urges Christians to pursue only activities that promote peace and behavior that builds up others.
Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace
and the things by which one may edify another.
To pursue means to passionately focus one’s undistracted effort toward a goal. This is not a casual matter. It involves using all the rsources God has given us to ensure growth and peace in the life of a fellow Christian. To the Colossian church, Paul said he labored, “striving…to present every man perfect in Christ” (Col. 1:28–29). This took concentration and effort!
For Paul, choosing to edify Christians meant refraining from any activity that caused others to stumble. He did not concern himself with his own rights or comforts because his greater priority, over his personal freedom, was to lead others to Christian maturity (1 Cor. 14:12, 26). This is how Jesus related to His disciples. He taught them that they could express no greater love than to lay down their lives for one another (John 15:13). As Christians, we ought to be so devoted to strengthening one another’s faith that we pursue this goal relentlessly, even if it means laying down our own lives. This behavior characterized the early churches (Acts 2:40–47). This is what love is like among God’s people (Gal. 6:9–10).
As God reveals to you what those around you need in order to grow in their faith, be prepared to make the necessary sacrifice on behalf of your fellow Christians (Col. 1:29).
Excerpts republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.
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