Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)The word "edify" in the original Greek means "to be a house builder...construct". * I like Thayer's Greek Definition of this word, "to build (up from the foundation)...to restore by building, rebuild, repair." There are several thoughts worth noting from both definitions, but let's read a couple more scriptures.
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Romans 14:19)Comfort and edify. Peace and edify. In these three scriptures we begin to see a certain picture. We are very plainly told that all things we do or say will not bring edification to others. The verse in 1 Corinthians sets an opposite image to the other two.
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. (1 Corinthians 10:23)
Freedom of speech is guaranteed under the United States Constitution. Every American grows up feeling they have the right to say anything they desire without any consequences. Yet the fact of the matter is, we don't really have that right. God's instructions are to edify, to construct, restore, rebuild, and repair, each other.
Think of the story Jesus told about the house and the storm (Luke 6:47-49) and ask yourself, "What caused the flood that beat upon the house?" We have spent a lot of sermons talking about overcoming the storm without speaking to its source. What brought on the wind and the waves?
I believe it was (amongst other things) the unkind words of people. The fact is our words can be very destructive. We go around tearing people down instead of building them up. King David in the Psalms says, "They compassed me about like bees...[they] thrust sore at me that I might fall." (Ps. 118:12-13) I can identify with this analogy from both sides of the issue. I have been on the inside where I felt stung and on the outside where I was doing the stinging. Thank God for His great forgiveness!
But notice as well that the definition of "edify" includes the idea of "rebuilding". When another person has already been destroyed, whether it was through our words or those of another, it is our job to restore them. First Thessalonians plainly states "comfort yourselves together".
Yes, one house stood despite the strength of the storm that came against it. However, the other house fell "immediately" and suffered great ruin. It is no wonder then that the tongue is described as a "fire".
Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (James 3:5-6)I don't think you can get any stronger than that. Set your heart today to edify others. Build people up and rebuild others who have fallen. I have found that sometimes the best way to do this is to avoid speaking. Don't be so eager to put in "your two cents". That old adage your mother spoke to you is still true you know, "If you can say anything nice, then don't say anything at all."
* G3618, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 1890.
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.