I wish I could say I was more mature than this, but I do argue and fight with my wife or 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 this indescribable joy when this incredibly strong spiritual tie is so evident during mission trips. Amazing how connected to and caring about someone I just met, might never see again, and have seemingly little tangibly in common with, except for the fact that we are bonded through Christ … and will share eternity joyfully 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 these types 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 trusting or collaborating with others. Our goal is “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 a “me-first” attitude. We struggle to overcome that outlook, but we need to so that we can bond and serve with others. 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 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 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 another’s behavior. They might 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. Healthy relationships are your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I know there are times when I let personal feelings and differences interfere in my relationship 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 just trying to use 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