Find Strength in Belonging
How do we maintain peace and oneness in our relationships? We have a family relationship. We have relationships with friends. We have a relationship at work. We have relationships at church. We have relationships in the community. Wow that’s a lot of relationships! We can have peace or strife in each of these that need to be managed. This activity needs to be constant. If we don’t focus on our relationships, we can see them decline. When we make mistakes, we need to quickly respond to them and repair any damage that we have caused to others. We will not be perfect every day.
What are some ways that we can use to maintain the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace with each other?
- Walk Worthy: If we all live to bring God glory, we will enjoy peace and unity among ourselves.
- Walk in Humility: Unity in its simplest form is nothing more than corporate humility. Humility breeds peace, pride brings contention.
- Walk in Gentleness (Meekness): Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit. Gentleness does not lash out at others.
- Walk in Patience: (My greatest challenge!) Lack of patience reflects focus on OUR agenda! Can be defined: “to endure with unruffled temper.”
- Bear with one another in love: Putting up with each other. “Putting up with another’s weaknesses and differences, not ceasing to love them because of those things that perhaps irritate or displease us.”
- Authority comes from God: God delegates authority in different spheres: family, government, church, work, teachers/coaches.
- Understanding submission: Ultimately when we submit to someone in authority we submit to God.
- Properly appealing to authority: When we don’t like what the authority does, we can react in anger and leave, or passively succumb to erroneous direction. Neither is a Godly response. Are you being asked to do something illegal, immoral, unethical or unbiblical or is this a difference of opinion you need to accept? Daniel showed us a way to react to authority. Daniel talked with the officials, listened generously, discovered the reasons for the things in question, and then proposed a creative alternative. Above all pray for God’s direction for your actions.
We need to constantly pray for healthy relationships and to heal damaged relationships.
“For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose – to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.” (Romans 14: 7 – 9)
“They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity.” (Acts 2: 46)
“Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.” (Matthew 12: 25)
“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” (Psalm 103: 8)
Ideas for Action: Is there a disappointment you’ve been carrying about the church? Do you have a damaged relationship? In prayer, offer it to the Lord and ask for his help in releasing it or repairing it. If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines at home, get back in the game by returning to worship and joining a small group, a class or a committee. We need you. We belong together in every relationship; we need to belong to each other. We will be much stronger because of it.