As you know, we have been in the book of 1 Corinthians for several weeks now. Earlier in this book, when Paul was talking about certain religious beliefs and practices, he wrote, that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1).”
In today’s passage, Paul is writing about “good order in worship”, addressing what is done in worship. And again he says, “Let all things be done for building up.”
Hmmm… do you see a pattern here? Paul is taking a general principle—that Christians are to build one another up—and applies it to specific circumstances. How might this principle apply to the specifics of our lives?
I can tell you, it really hits home with me. I do things for a lot of different reasons, and some of those reasons don’t square very well the idea of building one another up in love. In fact, sometimes the things I say and do have exactly the opposite effect.
When I get hurt, I sometimes seek to hurt others in return. When I get angry, all too often I go on the attack. When I want my way, sometimes it is my own ego that I serve, and not the good of others. It is not a very pretty picture.
Maybe this is something you could use a little work on as well. If so, I invite you to say this prayer with me:
God, please help me to serve you as my heart desires. In so doing, may all that I say and do be done to build others up in love. Amen.