This morning I was reading in Galatians and I was really struck by how united believers in Christ were. Paul was called to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jews) and Peter took the gospel to the Jews. In Galatians 2:1-10 Paul describes how he was received by the disciples despite the fact that he had a different calling. Verses 9-10 say:
“and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised [Jews]. Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do”.
This is a great model for how we need to act as Christians. When a brother or sister in Christ tells us what they’ve been called to do, we should encourage them. It would have been easy for Peter and James and John to be rude to Paul or even diminish the thing that God called him to do, but they didn’t. They knew Paul was being led by God and encouraged him to walk into his calling. Even more than that, they exhorted him to remember to love the lowest people in society, the poor, just as Jesus did.
We should encourage other Christians to do good works and share the gospel with others. We shouldn’t get hung up on different denominations or discriminate ministries based on who they target; but encourage, exhort, and help others who are members of the body of Christ. I know this is something that I constantly fall short in, but I feel this is something that we need to be conscious of. The leaders of the early church provide a good example for us to strive after.
So, my question to you is, do you encourage and exhort others to do what God is calling them to do?