October 2020, Vol. 39, No. 10

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What Is Edification?

posted on October 1, 2020

[300 words]

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14:19).

Edification is not a word we use in everyday life. We don’t hear or read about it in the news. It’s not usually found on any TV drama or comedy. However, the Bible urges us to “make every effort to do what leads to” peace AND edification. 

It is obvious that peace is linked to edification, but what is it? To edify someone is to encourage them. It is to give another support and confidence as they strive to do God’s will. 

There are a lot of things and people who discourage others. Without a healthy dose of encouragement, it is easy to become depressed and lose hope. I remember working in a secular job in Fort Worth during one of Texas’ economic downturns. I spent hours and weeks developing a project only to have it cancelled just before it was deployed. Intellectually, I knew that it wasn’t anything to do with me. The downturn in economy made it difficult to deploy the program. That’s when a senior officer of the company (that I barely knew) stepped in and said, “You did good work on this program. I sure hope we’ll be able to use it, soon.” That word of encouragement uplifted me more than I can tell. 

We all need encouragement. That’s one of many reasons why it’s important to meet together to worship the Lord. It is a time to encourage each other. 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

Larry Fitzgerald 
Woodlawn church of Christ
Abilene, TX

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