Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11
We can learn a lot about the world by studying it. We call the study of the physical world science. I used to love science as a kid, especially the experiments. My favorite was building a volcano; really anything that could safely blow up! But there is more to science than messy experiments, there is also the study of the things we cannot see, like atoms. Atoms are the microscopic building blocks for everything you can see or touch or that takes up space. If you want to create a language you need an alphabet and if you want to create stuff you need atoms. Did you know that every atom in the universe can act on every other atom, but only through the atom next to it. Without one atom touching another atom there is no stuff. It’s the same with faith. If you want to build up another person you have to do it by acting one at a time on those who are closest to you. Sharing your faith isn’t about standing on the street corner and shouting across the street to the passersby. You cannot easily act on an individual who is so far away from you, but sharing your faith starts at home with those you love and see every day. Did you know that all the verses in the Bible are meant for everyone, even those who are closest to you? You might say sure, at first, but then think about this for a minute. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it says we are to build each other up, that means not just your friends, neighbors, and co-workers but your family as well (even when you’d rather cut them down.) And in Philippians 2:3 it says that we are to consider others more important than ourselves. That means even the people you live with who annoy you without ceasing and make you want to blow your top.
It’s so easy to give up faithfulness when we are at home. We are more relaxed with our family and we aren’t always on our best behavior, but faithfulness starts with our siblings, parents, and children. Just like everything in the world exists because atoms act on each other, so everything faithful happens when we act on each other; obeying God’s Word not just to make converts but to share our faith with the most challenging people in the world including our own family members.
Questions to ponder
Have you noticed it’s easier to get mad at your family than your friends or even strangers? Why do you think that is?
What are some ways you could consider your family members more important than yourself today?
Jesus says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. What do you think that means in your daily home life and what can you do to make that a reality?