Today I had to console my daughter after Brother wouldn’t share his breakfast sausage with her. She has an intense love for breakfast sausage - sometimes I think she may love it more than me; and she had already eaten hers and felt she deserved more.
Today I had to tell my son 3 times to put on socks and shoes before he realized I was saying to put on socks and shoes. Do I speak English?? I thought so, but now I’m questioning it.
Today I found yet another sippy cup with milk in it that had been left in my car overnight. The sippy cup struggle is one of my least favorite aspects of toddlerhood.
It’s easy to think in these less-than-glamorous moments of motherhood that we have little of value to share with others. That’s what the Enemy wants us to think. When we buy into the lie that our family is too chaotic, our schedule is too hectic, our house is too messy, and our kids are too crazy, we miss out on authentic relationships. However, Jesus designed us to live a life of authenticity!
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” Bear with me for a second and lets look at this in the original Greek. “Encourage” is actually from the two Greek words,καλέω and παρά. The first is pronounced “kal-eh’-o” and the second is “para” and literally these words mean to “invite alongside of.” We all should have friends and people walking life alongside us!! This doesn’t just mean people that are in the same season as us. It means that as we go through life and encounter other believers, neighbors, coworkers, etc that we invite them to join us and do life together.
Sometimes we lump the idea of encouraging and building others up together, but it’s actually a progression. First, we invite others to join us, but as we begin to live life together we start actually building a life together. In the Greek the concept of “build each other up” is the same concept as building a house. Layer by layer, brick by brick as we live authentic lives alongside others we actually build a community and a tribe!
I don’t know about you, but for me the conviction in this verse is the last phrase! I can live life with people and form a tribe theoretically, but am I doing it? “Just as you are already doing” assumes that as believers we are in a habit of living life with others! Unfortunately we often allow the chaos and clutter of our lives to keep up from truly living life with others! Small talk on the soccer field sidelines or waving to a friend across the sanctuary is not sufficient. We need to be honest when we’re struggling and vulnerable with our weakness.
A few weeks ago, I texted a friend that I was struggling with something. Next thing I knew she was texting me back, encouraging me with truth, and even inviting me for breakfast later that week! The other night I had an acquaintance at church stop me and ask me to pray with her. In her vulnerability she admitted that she didn’t really have a strong group of friends. Through that transparency, it opened the door for me to exclaim “lets be friends!!” (We’re having coffee in a few days!) See, we are not mind-readers. God alone knows what we need, and He is faithful to meet our needs. If we aren’t willing to take a risk and be honest, we may miss out on how God is trying to meet those needs!
Friends, today I challenge you to be authentic. Embrace your crazy chaos, invite others to join you and lets build a life that points everyone to Jesus!