Monday, July 9, 2012

Dealing with Relationships

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.  3 John 1:1-4

The most important things in life are not possessions but people.  The most important accomplishments we perform are not in business but relationships.  Life is relationships!  It is just that simple.  If you can handle relationships, you can handle life. 

Third John is the shortest of all the New Testament books in the original Greek language and focuses on three men.  They form a natural outline for Third John.  In verses 1-8 John speaks of Gaius on the topic of Commendation.  In verses 9-11 he talks about Diotrephes and the topic is Confrontation.  Verses 12-14 are concerning Demetrius and the subject under consideration is Communication.

The Body of Christ is made up of different kinds of members.  Someone cleverly described it like this:
  • Some are like wheel barrows - only useful when they are being pushed. 
  • Others are like canoes - they sometimes need to be paddled. 
  • Then others are like kites - if you don’t keep them on a string they will fly away. 
  • Others are like kittens - they are contented only when they are petted. 
  • Then there are those who are like footballs- you can’t tell which way they are going to bounce next. 
  • Lastly, some church members are like trailers- they always have to be pulled along.
There are a great number of personality surveys administered to individuals in the workplace, counseling and even church which seek to help us understand one another.  We may register as a Lion or a Labrador on one test or receive a series of letters designating our individual characteristics, learning styles or views of the world.  All of these demonstrate that we are not all made alike but vary in a number of ways.  There is no “perfect” personality but variances from all kinds of factors from birth order and family history to geographical cultural differences.

As Christians we acknowledge that each has received a different spiritual gift and need one another to fully function as a body of believers.  Strong churches have strong fellowships based on strong relationships between members.  It is imperative to ministry that we seek to understand and appreciate our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

How do you get along with so many different people in the church?  How do you build lasting relationships with them?  We’ll take a look this week at John’s example of commendation as he spoke of Gaius. 

Scripture to Claim:

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 1 John 3:11

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