Updated: Feb 14, 2020
Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. [Romans 14:19 NIV]
The word “edification,” in it’s purest form, means BUILD UP.
Unfortunately, if we aren’t building up, then we are probably tearing down. Because words almost always fall into one of two categories: life or death. You might say it this way: life-giving or life-taking.
One translation of Romans 14:19 provides a unique insight into why it is important to choose words that build up, “Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.” Each of us needs to realize, our words can drag others down. So... don’t be a drag!
I believe in high-feedback environments; such a culture is the most-efficient way to get better. But focusing on continually pointing out the faults of others can be too much feedback. We’ve all been in concerts or present at events where a microphone begins to squeal in the sound system. It can be painfully ear-piercing. The technical reason for why this happens: Too much feedback. If people are repetitively grimacing as you begin your monologues, it might be that you are offering... too much feedback.
As you examine your heart -- and your conversations -- to ensure that you are not being a drag, offering too much criticism or tearing down more than you are building up, it leads to another important question: Are the people around you fragile?
The book of Hebrews makes an impressive statement in declaring that God shakes things with his voice; everything, in fact. But, don't neglect to realize that you are made in God's image. Have you considered that your voice might also shake things? Is it possible that your constant “rattling” has had the exact opposite effect of building up? Here's how to determine the answer: If you build up, the relationships around you become more stable, more foundationally solid, more fused together; but, if you don’t choose to edify others, the result is relationships that are increasingly fragile, vulnerable, and susceptible to collapse.
Don’t be a drag. Stop rattling. Build up!