When I argue (because, obviously, I’m above fighting) with my wife or daughters, I hurt, because they’re my family and I care so deeply for them. With fellow believers in Christ, we’re brothers and sisters, related in a much stronger way than blood relatives. I’ve really experienced this incredibly strong bond on mission trips where I am so connected and care so much for someone I never met, might never see again, and have seemingly little in common with. Except for the fact that we are bonded through Christ.
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 so often fail to develop the type of relationships that He desires for us. 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 instincts are to be independent, not trust or collaborate with others, and to have a goal of “what’s in it for me?” as opposed to, “what is the greatest good of the team?” Satan is always trying to accentuate the hurts of relationships to encourage the “me-first” attitude we struggle to overcome so we can bond and serve with others.
God has blessed each of us with gifts and talents and 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, focused on God’s plan, we can impact the world so much more if we pool our unique talents rather than each trying to do 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 differences … or on God’s bigger plan?
Today, ask God to show you personally what you can do to improve your relationship with a specific brother or sister in Christ. Perhaps it’s someone you have criticized … or someone you feel as though you are competing against. Maybe you have bickered about theology or passed judgment on his or her behavior. Ask God to help you relate to this person in love and harmony and build His kind of “one another” relationship.
Dear Father God, I know there are times when I let personal feelings and differences interfere with my relationship with other believers. Show me my barriers of insecurity and pride that interfere with my engagement with others. Please forgive me and help me have the “one another” relationships described in your Word. 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.