As we look forward to another wonderful year, many of us make new year resolutions. Maybe this year we can set goals that help us grow spirituality over the next twelve months. As Christians, we should be growing together in terms of three concepts: worshiping God, loving others, and serving. Perhaps this year we can challenge ourselves with building stronger relationships within these three areas.
In part one, we looked at our relationship with God. In this post, we’ll look at our relationship with others.
Our relationship with Others
We’re around others every day. In order to have successful relationships, we need to ensure we respect and love one another. Let’s look at a couple of ways we can work on this during 2013.
Because we’re human, we sometimes butt heads with one another. Sometimes it results in pain, confusion, heartache or otherwise hurt. Generally speaking, we have no idea we’ve hurt someone unless that person has told us. In that case, we need to make sure we initiate forgiveness so a positive resolution can be made. Paul told us:
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.[i]
We need to bear with and forgive one another like Christ did for us. If that’s true, we’ll need to forgive without expecting anything in return.
Jesus told us how to forgive. In Matthew’s gospel[ii], Jesus lays out four steps to follow:
1) Go to the person one-on-one – let them know what happened and work it out. If that doesn’t work,
2) Gather two or three people together as witnesses to help mediate the situation. If that doesn’t work,
3) Tell the church body and hopefully a positive resolution can be made. If that doesn’t work,
4) Disregard the person and situation. In other words, take the high road.
Let’s not wait any longer – mend relationships in 2013.
The Bible is pretty clear that we need to love one another. In fact, the gospel is built on LOVE. When writing to the Church in Rome, Paul wrote:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.[iii]
We are called to have sincere and genuine love for others. We need to love when society tells us there is no room for love. We need to love even when love isn’t reciprocated. How will you love others this year?
How will you challenge yourself to better your relationship with others? This year, let’s love as Christ loves us.
From our home to yours, have a blessed and wonderful year!
Check out part one and three of “New Year Resolutions”
[iii] Romans 12:9-13, NIV.