Your relationships with others are very important as a follower of Jesus. Jesus said that people should know that we were His disciples by our love for others.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34–35 (ESV)
We always have 2 choices in relating to others. You can either add value to someone or take value away. When we show love, encouragement, care, and friendship, we are adding value. When we criticize, make fun of, become angry with, or talk about others, we are taking value away. Jesus constantly encourages us to add value instead of taking it away. Today, many Christians struggle with this very truth and most people have felt the sting of gossip. Labeling it as “a concern” or “a prayer request” doesn’t change the fact that we are not showing love and Jesus was clear that we are not to hurt others in this way. It actually grieves God when we do.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:29–30 (NIV)
Who would you rather spend your time with? Someone that builds you up or someone that tears you down? It’s such an easy question isn’t it? Unfortunately, one of the reasons we become so willing to tear others down, belittle them, or talk about them behind their back is because we are trying to feel better about ourselves. What choice will you make? Will you add value to others or try to take it away? Jesus sees great value in you and He is constantly working to make you more than you already are. Let’s emulate this among our own relationships.
Truth: You are valuable and you are called to build up others just as Jesus is building us up.
Question: How can I add value to others?