How would our lives be different if we lingered in prayer over other people’s longings, losses, and dreams? How would our discipleship change if we saw prayer as an opportunity to honestly present other people’s concerns to God? What if our time spent lingering in prayer fueled the way we heard the people we care for?
When we take on the responsibility of shepherding others, it means that there are going to be times when we need to actively participate in search and rescue. There will be times when those who are part of our cadre of care, drift away.
Our words are powerful. They speak life and they speak death. Words are powerful because they can be so precise. When the tongue is used in precise ways to speak life it is encouragement. Encouragement acknowledges deep love, confirms deep hope, and affirms deep faith.
Many of us want lives that are more expansive, whole, and free; but it’s not as easy as wanting it. In this passage, Paul invites us to examine the structure of our lives, and how we can partner with God to build lives that are “constructive,” not just to us, but for others.