“Encourage one another and build each other up” I Thessalonians 5:11.

“…Love is kind.” I Corinthians 13:4 We all know what acts of kindness look and feel like but how would you define what it means to be kind? The Phillips translation of I Corinthians 13:4 gives good insight. It says, “Love looks for a way to be constructive.” That sounds to me like kindness builds people up. Building People Up…what a great way to make our lives count for something.

We all need a dream that calls forth the best in our lives. Intuitively we all know there’s more to life than just living for self, and all of us need somebody in our lives to inspire us to dream big dreams… someone who, when you get knocked down, encourages you to dare to dream again. There are people God has placed in your life who need you to be a people builder and there are people God has placed in your life who you need to build you up.

We tend to focus on each others weaknesses and short-comings, which, by the way, isn’t very kind. Peter Drucker said, “We need to build on peoples strengths so that their weaknesses become irrelevant.” Yes, all of us have weaknesses, but we can make a greater positive impact by searching for people’s good qualities and helping them build on their strengths. “We who are strong in the faith ought to help the weak… in order to build them up in the faith.” Romans 15:2

When someone believes in you, it brings out the best in you. It helps you to be more confident. We see this in Jesus’ relationship with Peter. Jesus said, “Peter you’re going to be a rock.” When Jesus said that, Peter was anything but a rock…he was impulsive, he was impetuous, he was distracted. Jesus didn’t tell him what he was. Jesus told him what he could be.

Tell people about the potential you see in them and encourage them to pursue it. “Encourage one another and build each other up” I Thessalonians 5:11 Ken Blanchard is the guy who wrote The One-Minute Manager. In it he said, “Catch people doing something right and then tell them.” That may take more than a minute. Let’s be honest…it will cost us. There’s a price tag for being a people builder. It requires time, effort and energy. Most of all the cost will be unselfishness, putting others first. So why should we do it…why go to the trouble of being kind? Ultimately, the answer for followers of Christ is found in Hebrews 10:24 “In response to all God has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind...”

You can be a builder of houses, wealth or your own body, but none of these things are going to last. A soul on the other hand will last for eternity. God says that our relationships are more important than our accomplishments. Nothing is more worthwhile than being kind…a people builder.

By the way, according to Proverbs 11:17, the kind person also receives a benefit. It says, “You do yourself a favor when you’re kind”. You see, when you help others succeed, you succeed. When you help others win, you win. When you help others to dare to dream again, you are fulfilling a very important part of God’s dream for your life. Yours is a changed life, helping others to change.