January 14, 2008

Spiritual Encourager

On Sunday morning our pastor spoke on Philippians 2:3-4

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you shoud look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
One of his points in the sermon related to us encouraging our spouses or others in our lives in their spiritual walks. Are we doing this? And what does that look like, exactly? So, specifically I dwelt on the first point, "How can I encourage my husband in his spiritual relationship with Christ, and also, my children's personal relationships with Jesus?"
I must, firstly understand that evidence of a growing personal relationship with Jesus will probably look different in my husband's life than in mine. I can't tell him he should be reading the Bible more, or initiating prayer time or whatever!
---Philippians 2:3-4 is a pretty tough command to follow. Do nothing out of selfish ambition [...] consider others better than yourselves [...] look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. It goes against our natural programming to look out for ourselves first and try to get ahead in every area of our lives. In following this command we actually have to deny ourself and treat others and their needs as more important than our own! Probably not a new idea to many, but it's still just as challenging I'll bet.
Could this be the beginning step to encouraging my family to grow closer to Jesus? The verse from Peter also comes to mind. In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. (1 Pet. 3:1-2 NLT)
When it may seem we are doing nothing directly, we are actually hugely impacting them as we serve God by serving and respecting them. It may even seem as though they don't even notice, but God notices. And isn't that the most important? The Holy Spirit is the one who will do the major convicting and transforming. We are called to encourage, to come alongside, to help reach a common goal or purpose. But we won't be the one to change the heart. That's God's business.

No comments: