by Jon Walker
“Let us agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other.” Romans 14:19a (Msg)
As a devotional community of purpose, we have many international readers, which is why I’ll explain that in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 22. It is a day of thanking God for his provision. May we all use this week as a time of remembrance of God’s grace in our lives and to take the time to thank God for the many blessings he’s given us (including the many relatives who will visit this weekend! LOL). May God bless and anoint your week – jw.
If you have children, you’ll know exactly what I mean: Some days you look into their faces, and you see the attitudes of angels; on other days you want to scream, “Why can’t you just get along!” as they get into a cyclical argument about who moved a toy 1/32nd of an inch.
Sometimes these opposite attitudes shift back and forth six times in five minutes!
But let me ask you this: Do you think God ever looks at us – we adults; believers in community together – and he sighs, saying, “Why can’t my children just get along?'”
There are dozens of reasons we don’t get along with each other with the sin of pride right at the top of the list. But I think another huge reason we fail to live in authentic, consistent, committed, Christian community is because it’s too hard.
It requires real effort to work through our differences, to remain transparent and honest, to confront and to pay close attention to each other. Frankly, it’s easier to keep relationships superficial; to ‘demonize’ one another when we don’t agree; to cut and run at the first sign of trouble rather than commit to each other.
Yet, God placed within us a need for ‘stick-with-it’ commitments; his commitment to us is unbreakable, and he wants to see us extend the same commitment to each other (2 Cor. 8:5). But this kind of commitment takes time; something that has become far too scarce in our lives today (and that is a choice).
God knows we will live in a healthy, Christian community if we will commit to living our lives together beyond our weekly meetings, if we will make each other a priority – sharing our lives over coffee, after work, at the ballpark, in the hospital.
The only way for us to become a “friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24) is when we focus on the quality of our relationships, not mere quantity or mere acquaintances.
“You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” (James 3:18, Msg, Emphasis mine)
· Love no matter what – How can you plan to help others at all times (not just when it’s convenient? Proverbs 17:17) ~~ How can you develop a strategy for loving others at their worst, not just when they seem loveable? (Romans 5:8).
· Show up – The most basic behavior of commitment is simply showing up. ‘If you care, you’ll be there.’ You may be surprised that your mere presence is a source of encouragement (Hebrews 10:25).
· Intentional Commitments – Other than your spouse, have you ever told someone else, “I will always be there for you.” This week established an intentional commitment with another believer. Approach the Spirit’s choice, and bless that person by saying, “I want to grow close to you as a friend.”
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
Devocionales Cristianos www.devocionalescristianos.org