The Value of Others

Acts 9:28-31

So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown.

The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers. (Acts 9:28–31)

The Message, Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, wraps up this part of the narrative nicely: “Things calmed down after that and the church had smooth sailing for a while. All over the country—Judea, Samaria, Galilee—the church grew. They were permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God. The Holy Spirit was with them, strengthening them. They prospered wonderfully.”

They didn’t need Paul. In Tarsus he had the time to learn that he needed them. It wasn’t about independence. It was about his discovering the value of dependence. Tragically, some never learn.

This is a good time to pause and make a twenty-century jump to today. Learn to appreciate and embrace the value of other people. Don’t try to go out there on your own. Rather than viewing others around you as hindrances, become aware of their value. Remind yourself that they play a strategic role in your survival and your success. God rarely asks us to fly solo. When He leads us to soar the heights, there is safety in others soaring with us.

God has designed His family to be that sort of support network for all of us. Nobody can handle all the pressure over the long haul. Companionship and accountability are essential!

You may be resisting becoming an active member of a church or enrolling in a small-group fellowship at your church. You think you can go it alone, and so far your plan has worked. But it’s only a matter of time before a gust of adversity knocks you off your feet, and you’ll need someone to pick you up. Don’t let a stubborn spirit of independence rob you of the joy of sharing your life, your weaknesses, your failures, and your dreams with others. You and I are not indispensable. You and I are not irreplaceable. God is both. It’s His church. He’s looking for broken vessels, wounded hearts, and humble servants, even those with bad track records who have some scars, who have learned not to hide them or deny them—people who understand and appreciate the value of others. Is that you?

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com

Posted in Church, Encouragement & Healing, Friendship and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.