Saul of Tarsus changed from loving self—to loving Jesus. He changed from putting others down—to building others up. How?
Putting Others Down: A self-centered person must have others around him. Someone has to listen to his negative talk. Someone must praise him. Someone must agree with him as to how great he is. That’s how it was with Saul, the Pharisee. His mission was to prove how bad Christians were. He criticized Christians to the chief priest and rulers of the Jews. They gave Saul permission to persecute Christians in Damascus. Men traveled with Saul to arrest Christians. At times, Saul had stone-gatherers and stone-throwers who killed Christians. Saul thought he was better than all others. He was “Hebrew of the Hebrews.” People served to lift Saul up. Saul could favor people or put them down!
Favor and Wrath: King Solomon talked about favor and wrath (Prov. 19:12). There is a place for both. However, it is sickening when someone uses favor to draw people in and then hits them with wrath. Apparently, Saul worked his way into congregations by showing favor. Then he would persecute, arrest, or kill those who did not please him. But, on the Road to Damascus, something happened. Saul trusted Jesus (Acts 9).
Christian Friends: Two men helped Saul in his new life. Ananias put fear aside and helped Saul receive his sight and be baptized. Later, Barnabas introduced Saul to disciples in Jerusalem who feared him (Acts 9:17-18. 26-27).
Building Others Up: Saul became known as Paul, the Apostle. Instead of being insecure and critical, Paul became confident in Jesus. For the rest of his life, Paul built up churches, church members, and church leaders. Paul was no longer the Pharisee who put everybody down. He obeyed God’s will. Build others up.
Application: There’s no glory in putting down your mate, your children, and others. Build others up today!
“In Your Home, Don’t Compete. Complete!”
Remember—Obey God’s Word—Together!