that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me."
Romans 1:11-12 (NKJV)
Two of the most basic things involved in mathematics are addition and subtraction. Although they are both part of mathematics, addition and subtraction are opposites. Addition involves increasing the amount of something, while subtraction decreases the amount. Addition means that something is being added to what is already there, and subtraction is what is being done when something is taken away.
One thing that can be clearly seen in the life of Paul is that when he went somewhere he added something to the people he met with. In Romans 1:11-12, Paul talked about his desire to see the believers in Rome, so that he could give them "some spiritual gift" to help establish them. Paul went on to say that he and the Christians in Rome could be encouraged together by their mutual faith. Paul was saying that his being with the believers in Rome would add something to them, and they would also be able to add something to Paul.
Paul was not someone who took anything away from what others had, he added something; Paul encouraged believers and imparted something to them. In the same way, we can see that Jesus was someone who always positively added to a situation and the lives of others and that He never did things to harm others. Jesus and Paul give us good examples of how we can add something to others and the situations we encounter, rather than being people who take away from and hinder others. Are we people who add something to, or take away, from others?