It's quite easy to develop a critical spirit toward people who are not growing spiritually according to our expectations. We can easily spot areas of concern that need correction, but we also need to take note of what is right. In his letters, Paul often needed to correct churches, but he also celebrated what was good.
In Paul's letter to the Colossians, for example, he mentioned that the gospel had taken root and was producing fruit in the lives of the believers there. He celebrated them by directing his thanksgiving toward God for their spiritual growth. They had come to know Jesus and now were struggling against the false teachers. He thanked the Lord for their deep and abiding love for all the saints and for expressing tangible and sacrificial concern for them. Paul also thanked God because the Colossians' faith and love grew out of their hope, the reality and assurance that this world is not the end.
Today may present us with opportunities to observe fellow believers. We can be critical or celebrate their spiritual progress. Let each of us take the time to thank the Lord for the way the gospel of Jesus Christ has taken root and is producing fruit in their lives Correction does much, however, encouragement does even more.
Will you help us, Lord, to reassure and strengthen Others by the words we speak today; we will always try to be affirming, as our pathways cross along life's way.