Companions on the Journey

Jen Petersen

Read: James 4:11-12

There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. (v. 12)

For several years, I’ve been telling my children that it takes two people to fight. When I say this, I’m hoping to get them to look at their own part in whatever conflict they’re having. But lately, I’ve switched to saying that they’re long on diagnosis and short on cure. They’re very good at pointing out what the problem is. But I don’t want them to only focus on the problem. I want them to think about how to make it better!

The truth is that I’m not much different than my children. When I’m in conflict with someone, I like to point out how they are the problem, even though I know it really does take two people to fight. We do the same thing even when we’re not in conflict with one another. When we notice people making poor decisions or we think they’re failing to look like Jesus, it’s easy to point to their mistakes. It’s much harder to walk alongside someone and encourage them. Or even better, to say, “I struggle and make mistakes, too. Let’s help one another.”

We might want to stand at a distance and point out how others need to change. But following Jesus is a journey meant to be taken with a community where we help each other out. We’re not meant to judge one another; we’re meant to offer encouragement along the way. —Jen Petersen

As you pray, ask God to show you someone whom you can encourage on their journey.