Relationships are core to the Christian life, and at the very core of all relationships is our relationship with the Lord. Being in relationship with God and your fellow man (or woman) is part of your Christian walk. So it does not help to say: “I am not good at relationships.” We are designed for relationship and some of us have to work harder than others to be good at it, or at least improve on your ability.
When God calls us to journey with Him through life, he sets us up for that journey in the following way:
- He Presences Himself with us for life (Heb 13:5b “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”)
- He is Present within us for Life (Acts 17:28 “In Him, we live and move and have our being”)
- He puts us in the body of Christ as part of our inheritance. (1 John 3:1 “called children of God! And that is what we are!” We have brothers and sisters in the faith. Heb 3:1)
- He positions us in churches ( within a fellowship of believers Acts 2:42)
- He positions us in relationships. God brings people into our lives. Some come for long periods of time, others for short seasons. These people have a major impact on our lives, influencing us, shaping us, challenging us all as part of God shaping us to be the people He wants us to be. Think back on your life and identify people who have come into it and had a positive impact on your life.
- For me, people who have impacted my life the most are usually women. God positions us in relationships with women. Be it my grandmother, my mother and aunts, sister, friends, colleagues, cousins, daughters, all the women have contributed to my life. This is the sisterhood of believers.
What is sad though is when we treat these same believers, like step-brothers and step-sisters. The best example of a mean step sister, is the step-sisters of Cinderella: who rip her dreams apart, her life, her hope. Step sisters will gossip, judge, break down, undermine, speak lies over her, believe the worst of her, keep a record of her wrongs, then remind her, guilt her, hate her. Perhaps I am being harsh, but the question is:
Paul says in Eph 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Let us notice two things:
- We are told to “make every effort,” the responsibility to keep unity within the body of Christ starts with us. We are responsible for keeping the unity and each of us will be held accountable for our contribution to unity. Therefore if things are not right between myself and a brother/sister, we are each responsible for maintaining unity within the body of Christ.
- How, through the bond of peace, the type of peace that binds people together i.e. Peaceable relationships. Relationships where there is no strife, no discord, forgiveness, no offense, where peace is maintained etc.
So let me ask you, how are you treating your sisters in the Lord?
Father, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus, so that I may have a relationship with You. Thank you that Jesus did not only provide for my forgiveness of sin, but I also became a child of God and live within a family of believers. Forgive me for the times I have treated my brothers and sisters in a manner that would break Your heart Lord, and help me to make things right as soon as I can. Help me to forgive, to reach out, to be kind and loving as I work to imitate Jesus in my life. Help me to be a peacemaker and do my part to maintain unity in the body of Christ.
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