“We had our fellowship group last night,” Stan mentioned one morning.
“How was that?” I asked.
“Interesting,” he replied. “The leader got us talking about something we don’t normally focus on. I found it quite helpful.”
“What did you talk about?”
“The gift of edification.”
“Edification?” I responded. “What’s that?”
“It’s something that strikes me as being at the heart of discipleship,” Stan replied. “Something that is essential for the church to grow, and for each individual person in the church to grow in an ever-deepening faith walk of a personal relationship with God through Christ.”
Continuing, Stan added, “Each one of us in the church is to be edified in the sense that we grow in the knowledge of God the Father, Jesus the Son, the Holy Spirit, and what Christianity means for the time we have here while we wait for the train.”
“Sounds important,” I replied. “Who’s supposed to edify and who is supposed to be edified? Can every person in the church edify someone else?”
“Great questions!” Stan said. “This is a big subject and I’m not sure I have all the answers. But I do know it’s important. When a person has been gifted with the ability to see things in God’s word, the Bible, and when a person has been gifted with the ability to hear things from the Holy Spirit, things that others may not see or hear, that person is to tell others for their edification.”
“So they, too, may know what God has shown the person doing the edification?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied.
“But what if a person doesn’t want to edify or to be edified? What then?”
“In the first place,” Stan said, “if a person is gifted with the ability to edify but chooses not to exercise that gift, I think that person may not be in God’s will. I can understand that people may feel reluctant because of seeing it as kind of ‘tooting their own horn,’ but I think they need to see it as God’s ‘horn,’ not their own. They have been chosen to have the gift. If they don’t exercise it, it may go away.”
“What about those people who don’t want to be edified by someone else?”
“Their loss,” Stan replied. “I think it’s essential to recognize that God gifts people with different gifts. One of which is edification for the benefit of others in the church. If people choose not to be edified, it’s like saying to God that they don’t want to benefit from a gift He has given.”
Bible verses to consider:
Now I wish that all of you spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edification. 1 Corinthians 14:5.
So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12.
Let all things be done for edification. 1 Corinthians 14:26.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the gift of edification that you give to certain people so that others in the church may have the benefit of being edified by those you have gifted. Thank you for those people you send into my life for my edification, so I will have the benefit of what you have shown them. I confess that too often I choose to not be edified by those people because I refuse to recognize the gift of edification you have given to them. Please, Father, forgive such foolishness. And please help me in following every step of your lead into the deepest possible relationship with you by being edified exactly as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Edification is for the benefit of the whole church, including you. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? How can people recognize that they have the gift of edification? If they have that gift, but choose to not to exercise it, what are some of the reasons they might make that choice? Would that be in keeping with God’s will? Have you ever not listened to the voice of someone who was sent into your life for your edification? If so, what was that all about? Do you want to be edified?