“Everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening.” (12:19)
I like that!
Paul said something similar in 10:8. His entire ministry was directed to this goal. The more I read Paul’s writings, the more I admire his love for his fellow man. He is so committed to their eternal wellbeing! However my admiration shouldn’t just be, “Wow! He was a great man! Good for him!”
Rather, he says he wants us to be like him.
“I wish that all of you were as I am.” (1 Cor. 7:7)
“I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you.” (Gal. 4:12)
“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.” (Phil 3:17)
So, if we are to be like Paul, than everything we do should be centered around strengthening others in their faith. ….
So, …am I doing that?….Is that my goal in life?….not yet….😬
I better keep reading Paul’s letters so I can learn from his example!
This has been a new way of looking at what my goal in life should be. I have spent years thinking that it is important for me to strengthen myself in my faith. I have been going to Bible studies and trying to live a self-disciplined life all in the hopes that my own faith would be strengthened. I am sure what I have done has strengthened my faith, but what if I spent all those years focused on strengthen others instead of myself?
I bet the Bible studies and self-disciplined life would have evolved naturally in the process of encouraging others, reading with others, praying with others all with the focus of strengthening the other one’s faith. What more could I have received in the process?……Who knows, maybe I would be moving mountains by now….
What a paradigm shift!