Faith Friday: Build Each Other Up

Background image by Jodi Miller Photography
Hey guys! Well here I am, relatively in one piece and happily proclaiming that I have survived the storm that is midterm season! Today's Friday so you know what that means - it's another instalment of Faith Fridays and this one is about something that's been on my mind for quite some time to write about. If you got the chance to read this Monday's post on comparison then it'll serve as a good precursor to what I'm going to tackle today. 

For years now I've seen first hand what competition can do to girls, especially when it's based on false ideas of comparison! The whole "I'm better than you because _______" is a theme that keeps coming up between women and even though I'd hoped we'd grow out of it, it seems no one really got the memo. The first chance we get to put someone down, whether it be explicitly or subtly, we take it. Instead of building up someone in love, we choose to tear them down - and I'm not talking falling Jenga pieces, I'm talking wrecking ball coming at ya at 10000 km/h. Why is that? Why have women, especially, learned to use that as a tool to feel better about themselves? When you compare yourself and feel you aren't as good, the only option left is to tell that person that what makes you jealous is the one thing that makes them ugly or unwanted. I'm not one to purposefully bring up negativity but it just hurts me when I see (and have participated in) people stepping on others to get ahead or lift themselves up higher!

One for the saddest things to see is when people live for the constant compliments and affection of others but when another person who should be someone they love accomplishes something they haven't yet been able to, all of a sudden it's either not good enough or not a big deal. We feed off of this sense of competition and we choose to let it breed hatefulness into our hearts. Letting it transform into a silent "I'm better than you" feeling inside and letting it out in small doses through our actions and words. Trust me, people have done this to me and even though they think they're subtle, I can sense it! Situations like this have got me thinking. How much more beautiful would life be if we decided to truly be happy for others and lift them up. No conditions, just straight up I-want-the-best-for-you behaviour. 

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing"
1 Thessalonians 5:11

As a Christian myself, I often look for support in other Christians. You know, because we're all on the page in a way (or at least we should be) and our common beliefs should give rise to positivity. The worst part is that I often encounter Christians who are down-builders. Who have one goal in sight and that's to be the biggest and greatest, and that sadly comes along with them putting you down to get to where they want to be. I've obviously found this same behaviour everywhere else but it hurts the most when you see it at church and among people who you could grow to call your friends. These past few months of starting my blog have been exciting and certainly challenging at times but it feels so good when someone tells you that what you wrote came at the right moment or just a simple thank you for encouraging them that day. Ultimately even though I'm the one writing my blog, I have a bigger purpose for it and Lord knows that my desire is to honour Him no matter what. The coolest thing so far is having people that I haven't seen for years message me saying that they read and that they are encouraged by the way I share my beliefs. They may not have the same ones but being genuine does that to people. So these people build me up. But you know the worst part? I was surprised by this. I expected people to automatically be thinking negatively about my blog because they don't believe the same thing - so what does that say about my expectations? The more we build people up, the more we can see that others do the same! It's not some kind of anomaly. 

The kind words I get from people, especially those who were unexpected, make sharing my faith through this blog even more enjoyable. Remember that they inspire you just as much as you inspire them. It's a mutual act of lifting each other up. Encouragement is such a powerful tool to reach other people and show God's love. This life we are privileged to live isn't supposed to be about being on top. How many times have I heard from people who wanted to get to the top that when they got there, there was nothing there. I encourage you (and me) to look for opportunities to sow into what people are doing. It's not about being better than someone, it's about helping them be better and allowing for other people to do the same. I've had to start learning to stop being cynical at times and stop expecting others to tear me apart with their words. You'd be surprised how healing people can be when you let them. 

You are called to "pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding" (Romans 14:19)

Learn to feel the best when you say something nice about what someone else is doing - not when you're being encouraged only. Because when people stop drowning you with compliments and encouragement, will you be humble enough to shower someone else with them?
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  1. Just like yawning and laughter, encouragement is contagious! In love with this post and never press quit on inspiring! Nothing like changing the world one compliment at a time.

    -Diana C [Two Are Better Than One]

    1. It definitely is contagious! So glad you liked it! Couldn't agree with you more, encouragement is world changing.


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