As we look at what the purpose of the church is, we can’t escape all the “one another” statements in Scripture; and when we look at them closely, we discover that they are commands, not just suggestions. For instance, Paul says in Romans 15:7, “Receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” Instead of pointing out the faults of the other members of the body, we are to receive them graciously, just as Christ received us into the body. Another example: Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:2 that we should be “bearing with one another in love.” What does that mean? Very simply, it means that, as members of the body, we should be “putting up with” the other members of the body; not complaining or with grudging acceptance, but in love. We are to put up with each other’s failures and foibles, not expecting anything in return, simply giving unconditional acceptance as we would expect others to do for us.
Paul tells us in Romans 14:19 that we should pursue the things by which we may build up one another. This reference draws us back to the body of Christ being compared to a building. The members of the body should pursue the things that build each other up. If we are involved in construction, we are looking for ways that we can improve the building on which we are working. I worked for a man once who told me that I seemed to be better at destruction than construction. You know, destruction is easier. You don’t need a lot of skills; you don’t need a detailed plan. Just go in and start tearing things apart.
The same is true of the church. It’s a lot easier to tear it apart than to build it up. It’s a lot easier to criticize than to compliment. It’s a lot easier to assume the worst than to think the best. Tearing people down seems to come easier than building them up. What we need in the body of Christ is construction, not demolition.