BY JIM KASEMAN
From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:16
Christianity is people. People united in love with God and one another. It’s a life spent developing relationships with one another that will affect us now and for eternity-good or bad. So, let’s examine some of the principles involved in establishing godly relationships with one another.
1. Thou Shalt Love People-Not Use Them.
Read Matthew 22:36-40, 1 Thessalonians 3:11-12 and John 13:34-35.
Tradition tells us that the aged apostle John, in bidding farewell to his congregation, admonished them to love one another. “But we want something now,” they said, “Give us a new commandment.”
John replied, “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning … that we should love one another!” (I John 2:7, 3:11)
Ephesians 5:21 talks’ of submitting one to another in love which, brings up the subject of commitment and a provoking thought. By refusing to make and keep commitments (vows) to our spouses, local
churches, friends, employers, etc. we are actually using them for our own selfish purposes!
2. Thou Shalt Develop Wisdom and Understanding.
Read Colossians 1:9-11.
We need to believe God for wisdom in developing fruitful relationships with people. Or, we’ll end up spending our lives engulfed in unfruitful strife, and division.
Sometimes children seem to have more understanding than adults do, as illustrated in the following story.
A boy once asked, “Dad, how do wars begin?” “Well, take the First World War, “said his father, “That got started when Germany invaded Belgium.” Immediately his wife interrupted him, “Tell the boy the truth. It began because somebody was murdered.” The husband drew himself up with an air of superiority and snapped back, “Are you answering the question or am I?”
Turning her back upon him in a huff the wife walked out of the room and slammed the door as hard as she could. When the dishes stopped rattling in the cupboard, an uneasy silence followed, broken at length by the son. “Daddy, you don’t have to tell me how wars begin, I know now!”
3. Thou Shalt Be Honest
Read Ephesians 4:15, Colossians 3:9 and John 8:44.
Jesus called the devil, the Father of Lies. But as Christians, we are born of God, the Father of Truth.
So it stands to reason that not one Christian should ever be engaged in lying. But, sad to say, lying is very common in the church and a subject that had to be addressed frequently in the Bible.
It’s been said that a lie travels around the world while truth is putting on her boots.
The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do, if he knew he would never be found out!
Let’s be men and women of integrity to God’s glory!!
4. Thou Shalt Not Worry.
Read Philippians 4:6-9, 1 Peter 5:7 and Matthew 6:25-34.
The word “worry” is derived from an Anglo Saxon word meaning to strangle or choke. This has been demonstrated again and again in persons who have relationships destroyed because of anxiety and
apprehension caused by strife.
Medical science has even proven that worry can destroy your mental, emotional and physical health. Not to mention your spiritual health.
But the good news is we don’t have to let worry destroy us or our relationships with others as summed up in this poem:
All the water in the world
However hard it tried,
Could never sink a ship
Unless it got inside.
All the hardships and worries of this world,
Might wear you pretty thin,
But they don’t hurt you, one least bit
Unless you let them in.
S. Thou Shalt Not Quarrel.
Read 11 Timothy 2:24-26.
We see in this text that the devil can destroy Christians at his will when we are in strife with one another.
In an old monastery in Germany, one may see two pairs of deer horns interlocked. They were found in that position many years ago. The deer had been fighting; their horns got jammed together and they could not be separated; so they died. Dr. Kerr, who first told the story, added “I would like to carry those horns into every house and school.” We might add, “And into every church.”
6. Thou Shalt Listen.
Read Romans 10:17, Acts 13:16, James 1:19 and Revelation 2:7.
It is by listening to God that faith comes to be saved and we then establish and develop a relationship with Him.
It is by listening to one another that we can establish godly relationships with one another. Communication is a must!
Talk and you say what you already know, but listen and you learn something new. Or, be thoughtful and listen to the opinions of others. There are three sides to a controversy-yours, the other fellows and the
7. Thou Shalt Have Joy.
Read Luke 6:23, Nehemiah 8:10, Galatians 5:22-23 and I Peter 1:8
The Word of God tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength and is one of the fruits of the spirit. So, it’s a very spiritual thing to have joy in your heart and in your relationships with others.
Medical science is becoming increasingly aware of the healing qualities of joy and laughter. As described in Proverbs 15:13, “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart is spirit
And then don’t forget, it takes 72 muscles to frown and only 14 to smile!
8. Thou Shalt Be Kind To One Another.
Read Matthew 25:35-36 and Ephesians 4:32.
A sign of a true revival is when Christians actually start being kind to one another. A true miracle for the world to see. I believe you and I shall truly see this come to pass as the church becomes that
Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle that Jesus is coming back for (Ephesians 5:25-27).
It has also been said, “Be kind to people on your way up, because you may see them again on your way down! ”
9. Thou Shalt Practice What Thou Preaches.
Read James 2:26, Galatians 5:13, 6:9-10.
The Bible says that faith without. works is dead. Another way of saying it is-If you really believe God’s Word is true how come you’re not acting like it? Yet another way is to say, “Talk is cheap-let’s see you do it.”
The story is told of a pastor of a large church in a large city One day on his way downtown he boarded a city bus, paid for his ticket, received his change and found his seat. Once seated he noticed that he
received three times the change back than he should have. The first thought was that God had blessed him. But the pastor knew that thought was from the devil since God is not going to steal from others to bless you. So, when the bus arrived at the pastors destination, the pastor said to the bus driver. “You made a mistake and gave me way too much change when I purchased my ticket, here is your money.” The driver said, “I didn’t make a mistake, I deliberately gave you too much back because I visited your church on Sunday and I was going to see if you practiced what you preached! ”
Folks, there is a lesson here for all of us. People are watching all Christians, not just preachers. So, are you practicing what you preach at home or work?
10. Thou Shalt Meditate on the Word of God Day and Night.
Read Joshua 1:8, Deuteronomy 28:1-2 and 11 Timothy 2:15.
Jesus is the living Word, the Word is Jesus-they are one and the same (John 1:14). So, Meditate on Jesus (The Word of God) day and night and you’ll succeed in all that you do.
The Word of God must be a part of our lives daily if we are to succeed as Christians. We must keep growing and maturing. And apart from the Word of God we cannot grow in God.
It has been said that he who adds not to this learning, diminishes it.
Life is a continual learning process as illustrated in the following story: A successful businessman was asked by a young man what he attributed all of his success to. He answered by saying that he
attributed all of his success to good judgement.
Then the businessman was asked, “Where did you get all your good judgement from?” The businessman answered, “From experience.”
Then the businessman was asked where he got all of his experience from. He answered, “Through poor judgement.”
Let’s stay at it. Let’s keep learning and growing. Let’s each do our part in developing godly relations with one another and see the church come into its finest hour. What a blessed generation we are to be
witness to what God is doing in all of us!
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY JIM KASEMAN MINISTRIES, JUNE 1994, PAGES 1-3. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.