Are you tempted to give up on someone? Has the advancement of the kingdom of God in that person skidded to what appears to be a screeching halt?
Paul explained the what and why of not giving up on each other: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). The what of not giving up is “doing good;” the why is the “harvest.”
Next, Paul unmistakably described the who of not giving up, or the audience who receives our good deeds: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10). The who of not giving up is “all people, especially the family of believers.” The writer of Hebrews elaborated on the family of believers never giving up on one another: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
“Not give up” is egkataleipo in Greek, meaning, “to desert.” Rather than discouraging others toward disconnectedness, believers are called to never desert each other and to encourage their spiritual family members toward connectedness both in community with others and communion with God. That is exactly what Azariah son of Oded did with King Asa of Judah (2 Chronicles 15:7).
Jesus never gave up on His disciples (John 17:12). Jesus never gave up on us; He prayed we would be encouraged toward connectedness — to live in community with each other in communion with the Father and Son so the world may be encouraged toward the same connectedness (John 17:20-23).
In order to never give up on each other, we must forever live up to encourage others toward connectedness in community with personal relationships and communion with God. When we are tempted to discourage and disconnect from each other, we must encourage connectedness like a sister or brother.
Ask the Spirit of God to reveal to you the cracks in the heart of the person on whom you are tempted to give up, namely the desires he is attempting to satisfy apart from God. Next, ask for wisdom to encourage that person toward connectedness with God and others. Finally, go to that person and listen to his story, serve him in the way God has prompted you, and encourage communion with the Father and community with others.
When you never give up on yourself, never give up on God, and never give up on each other, you will realize it is not merely you enduring life’s challenges; rather, it is Christ in you. In the words of apostle Paul: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6).