(Lk 6:37-38) A forgiving spirit demonstrates that a person has received God’s forgiveness. Jesus uses the picture of measuring grain in a basket to ensure the full amount. If we are critical rather than compassionate, we will also receive criticism. If we treat others generously, graciously, and compassionately, however, these qualities will come back to us in full measure. We are to love others, not judge them.
(Mt 12:46-50) Jesus was not denying his responsibility to His earthly family. On the contrary, He criticized the religious leaders for not following the Old Testament command to honor their parents (15:1-9). He provided for his mother’s security as He hung on the cross (John 19:25-27). His mother and brothers were present in the upper room at Pentecost (Acts 1:14). Instead Jesus was pointing out that spiritual relationships are as binding as physical ones, and He was paving the way for a new community of believers (the universal church) our spiritual family.
(Mk 12:24) What life will be like after the resurrection is far beyond our ability to understand or imagine (Isaiah 64:4, 1 Corinthians 2:9). We need not be afraid of eternal life because of the unknowns, however. Instead of wondering what God’s coming kingdom will be like, we should concentrate on our “shared love” relationship with God right now because in the new kingdom, we will be with Him. If we learn to love and trust God now, we will not be afraid of what He has in store for us then.
(Eph 3:14-15) The family of God includes all who have believed in Him in the past, all who believe in the present, and all who will believe in the future. We are all family because we have the same Father. He is the source of all creation, the rightful owner of everything. God promises his love and power to His family, the church (3:16-21). If we want to receive God’s blessings. It is important that we stay in contact with other believers in the body of Christ. Those who isolate themselves from God’s family and try to go it alone cut themselves off from God’s power.
(Acts 20:31, 36-38) Paul’s relationship with these believers is a beautiful example of Christian fellowship. He had cared for them and loved them, even cried over their needs. They responded with love and care for him and sorrow over his leaving. They had prayed together and comforted one another. Like Paul, you can build strong relationships with other Christians by sharing, caring, sorrowing, rejoicing with them. You will gather others around you only by giving yourself away to them.
(2 Cor 13-14) Paul was dealing with an ongoing problem in the Corinthian church. He could have refused to communicate until they cleaned up their situation, but he loved them and reached out to them, again with the love of Christ. Love, however, means that sometimes we must confront those we care about. Both authority and personal concern are needed in dealing with people who are ruining their lives with sin. But there are several wrong approaches in confronting others, and these can further break relationships rather than heal them. We can be legalistic and blast people away with the laws they should be obeying. We can turn away from them by gossiping about their problems and turning others against them as well. Or, like Paul, we can seek to build relationships by taking a better approach – sharing, communicating, and caring. His is a difficult approach that can drain us emotionally, but it is the best way for the other person, and it is the only Christlike way to deal with others sin.
1 Cor 11:3) Submission is a key element in the smooth functioning of any business, government, or family. God ordained submission in certain relationships to prevent chaos. It is essential to understand that submission is not surrender, withdrawal, or apathy. It does not mean inferiority, because God created all people in His image and because all have equal value. Submission is mutual commitment and cooperation.
(Eph 2:14) Christ has destroyed the barrios people build between themselves. Because these walls have been removed, we can have real unity with people who are not like us. This is true reconciliation. Because of Christ’s death, we are all one (2:14), our hostility against each other has been put to death (2:16), we can all have access to the Father by the Holy Spirit (2:18); we are no longer foreigners or aliens to God (2:19); and we are all being built into a holy temple with Christ as our chief cornerstone. (2;20-21).
(Eph 6:1-4) If our faith in Christ is real, it will usually prove itself at home, in our relationships with those who know us best. Children and parents have a responsibility to each other. Children honor their parents even if the parents are demanding and unfair. Parents should care gently for their children, even if the children are disobedient and unpleasant. Ideally, of course, Christian parents and Christian children will relate to each other with thoughtfulness and love. This will happen if both parents and children put the others interests above their own – that is, if they submit to one-another.
(Phil 4:2-3) Selfish ambition can ruin a church, but genuine humility can build it. Being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves (see Romans 12;3). It does not mean that we should put ourselves down. Before God, we are sinners, saved only by God’s grace, but we are saved and therefore have great worth in God’s kingdom. We are to lay aside selfishness and treat others with respect and common courtesy. Considering other’s interests as more important than our own links us with Christ, who was a true example of humility.
Thus God calls for submission among equals. He did not make the man superior, he made a way for the man and woman to work together. Jesus Christ, although equal with God the Father, submitted to Him to carry out the plan for salvation. Likewise, although equal to man under God, the wife should submit to her husband for the sake f their marriage and family. Submission between equals, not by force. We serve god in these relationships by willingly submitting to others in our church, to our spouses and to our government leaders.
Learn to relate to others through His Love rather than yours. Your human love is ever so limited, full of flaws and manipulation. your Shared Love which always is there for you, is available to bless others as well as you. Instead of trying harder to help people through your own resources, become aware of the unlimited supply, which is accessible to you continually. Let His love develop your outreach to other people.
Many of His precious children have fallen prey to burnout. A better description of their condition might be “drain out.” Countless interactions with needy people have drained them, without their conscious awareness. You are among these weary ones, who are like wounded soldiers needing R & R. Take time to rest in your Shared Love. He will gradually restore to you the energy that you have lost over the years. Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and you will find rest for soul.
One of the others you have to deal with is your sparing partner in this world. It’s his job to give you a hard time through challenges and in your mind.