JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from Ephesians 4:25.
“Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
That word, “therefore” connects with a preceding thought, which talks about putting off the corrupted old self, and putting on the new self, where we are created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Jesus trains us to be honest in our relationships. This means that we will be committed to the truth. That does not mean we have to disclose everything about ourselves to everybody. But it does mean that we project ourselves with honesty and humility. We avoid flattery, which deceives others into thinking they are better than they are. We also avoid boasting, which deceives ourselves into thinking we are better than we are. We are also careful not to spread false reports or rumors. Dishonesty undermines credibility, while honesty preserves integrity.
Jesus says He is the way, the truth, and the life. Under His influence, we put away falsehood and replace it with truth in the way we communicate with those people God has placed in our lives.
Honesty is a vital relationship-building principle to take to heart in the Year of Connection.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from James 4:1.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”
Resolving conflict can be a messy, uncomfortable process. It requires examining where the relationship has gone sour, so that amends can be made and reconciliation might take place.
James is addressing conflict in the church, and is confronting the selfish tendencies of those who quarrel and fight. Addressing problems is not a negative perspective, as long as we are committed to seeking solutions. When we are embroiled in conflicts, we can find insight in the writings of James. We can ask ourselves if our own selfish tendencies are contributing to the conflict. Is pride keeping me from accepting responsibility for my actions? Is there anything that I need to say or do to make amends for the hurt that I have caused?
James discusses the causes of conflict, and then offers solution for getting relationships back on track, and it’s found in James 4:7 and 8.
“Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Submitting ourselves to God with humility is a vital relationship-building principle to take to heart in the Year of Connection.
JOHN SHIRK – God’s people are called to live in community. The evidence of that can be found in the “One another” statements of the Bible. This week’s relationship-building principles have been taking a look at some of these “one another” statements to better understand how God wants us to relate with other members of God’s family.
First John 3:11 says, “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.”
Love is at the heart of the “one another” commands in the Bible. These specific commands scattered throughout the New Testament include: “Encourage one another, serve one another, forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another, accept one another as Christ accepted you, spur one another on toward love and good deeds, honor one another above yourselves, live in harmony with one another, offer hospitality to one another without grumbling, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, instruct one another. Be kind and compassionate to one another.
These specific “one another” statements are useful to help us examine whether or not we are walking in love as God calls us to love.
Loving God’s family with a godly attitude is a vital relationship-building principles to take to heart in the Year of Connection.
JOHN SHIRK – Philippians 2:6 tells us that “being in very nature God, he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!”
Jesus deserved the crown of glory. Instead, He wore the crown of thorns.
Jesus was worthy of being lifted up to a throne of honor. Instead, He suffered the cross of shame.
Jesus was worthy of being served as a distinguished leader. Instead, He came to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.
There is an important reason to examine the attitude of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”
The attitude of Jesus is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – It happened the night before Jesus was crucified. He grabbed a basin and a towel. He knelt down to serve the disciples by washing their feet.
In this simple act, Jesus taught us that service is an act of humility. Jesus literally lowered Himself to serve the disciples as He washed their feet. If Jesus was willing to do that, then none of His servants are so great that they are above performing acts of service that can help others in practical ways.
Jesus said to His disciples in John 13:14, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
The washing of the disciples’ feet is an example of service taught by Jesus and is a lesson of faith worth remembering.