I wish I could say I am more mature than this, but I do argue and fight with my wife and daughters. When I do, I hurt, because they’re my family and I care so deeply for them. Well, we are related in a much stronger way with our brothers and sisters who are fellow believers in Christ. I’ve experienced indescribable joy when this strong spiritual tie becomes evident during mission trips. It’s amazing how connected and caring I can feel about someone I have just met and might never see again, when we seem to have so little in common except for the fact that we are bonded through Christ and will joyfully share eternity together.
All through the Bible, we find “one another” Scriptures that instruct us in the kinds of caring actions and attitudes that ought to characterize our relationships as brothers and sisters in Christ. God clearly defines what kind of relationships we should have … and yet we often fail to develop them. And when we fail, we not only add unnecessary stress to our lives and the lives of those around us … but we also fail to illustrate the love of Jesus to unbelievers who may be observing us.
Our natural instinct is to be independent. Our goal is “what’s in it for me?” as opposed to, “what is the greatest good of the team?” Satan constantly accentuates the hurts of relationships to encourage a “me-first” attitude. Overcoming that perspective is a constant struggle. But we must so that we can bond with other and serve them. Remember that we are on the same team and Satan is the enemy. As Satan tries to pit us against each other, we often forget he is even in the game, let alone that he is the enemy.
God has blessed each of us with gifts and talents. He has placed us within a body of believers who have also received a variety of gifts. As we live with each other in harmony and love, focusing on God’s plan, we can impact the world so much more if we pool our unique talents rather than doing our own thing. Along the way, we will also develop relationships that we can count on … relationships built on a foundation of God’s love.
Do you see yourself as part of God’s team? Are you and other Christians in your church … and in other churches and ministries in your community … working together in harmony? Are you stuck focusing on your differences … or on God’s bigger plan?
Today, ask God to show you what you can do to improve your relationship with a specific brother or sister in Christ. Perhaps it’s someone you have criticized … or a relationship that has become competitive. Maybe you have bickered about theology or passed judgment on another’s behavior. Someone may have lied to you or gossiped about you. Ask God to help you relate to this person in love and harmony and build His kind of “one another” relationship.
Whether you pursue healthier relationships for a fulfilling life or you stagnate with petty dysfunction is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I know there are times when I let personal feelings and differences interfere in my relationships with other believers. Show me the barriers of insecurity and pride that interfere as I engage with others. Please forgive me and help me have the “one another” relationships described in your Word. Even though I might be in some minor conflict with another, help me know that Satan is the enemy, and he is using others to derail me. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who completes my joy, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention. Philippians 2:2