I Cor 14:12, 26b "Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel...Let all things be done for edification."
Edification. That's a word you don't hear much anymore. The word means to "build up, to promote another's growth". I think our idea of building up is to encourage each other. To support one another with uplifting words. That is nice, and we need to do that, but I think we miss the main point of edification…of building up. It is not just encouraging the other guy. It is actually working to make the other guy better. It is striving to promote their growth.
We are so growth centered in the church. But most of the time, we talk about it in terms of "me". How can I grow? Give me the tools that I need to grow. What can I do to get better? Paul was telling the church in Corinth that everything that they do should not be done for their own personal growth, but for the growth of others. It is not a "me centered" approach. It is an "other's centered" perspective. What can I do to help other people grow? What can I do to help my worship team grow? What can I do to help the guys I minister with grow? What can I do to promote their success? Paul said as we use our spiritual gifts, we need to use them in all things with this perspective in mind.
Not only that, but I love the word "excel". It means "to exceed a fixed number or measure". It is the over and above approach. What can I do to help my wife grow? Do more. What can I do to help my kids grow? Do more. What can I do to help my pastors grow? Do more. What can I do to help other believers grow? Do more. Frankly, this isn't easy because it requires thought. It requires planning. It requires asking questions. It requires intentionality. It is not just floating (which I am good at) and hoping that growth will take place. It is a purposeful act on my part to see others grow.
Just think if everyone in the church had this mindset. Amazing stuff would happen.
I need to excel in edification. I am going to get started by asking questions, and then hopefully following through.