Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Speak In A Friendly Manner

Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.” 3 John 1:15

There is much to glean from the Beloved Disciple regarding Building Lasting Relationships.  Much of what we learn is from the manner in which he speaks to this church on the verge of trouble.
1.    Speak In A Friendly Manner
In this last verse in John’s letter, John expresses to us where his heart was in this matter.  This is an intimate closing.  His goal was not to destroy the church, ruin Diotrephes or create a war among the believers.  Therefore, he closes with the beautiful call to peace.  His goal was to reestablish peace in their relationships. 
Have you ever met someone who just could not live in peace?  Wherever they are they seem bring conflict with them?  Most of us know that such a person is often one who cannot find peace because they are never at peace; either with themselves or God.
The beginning of peace is a found through faith in Jesus and the forgiveness of our sins.  Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (NIV)  The offspring of God perform His work.  How do you know when you are at peace with others?  Well, you know when there is an absence of jealousy, revenge, resentment and bitterness of spirit and a presence of good will, kindness and love.  But there is also a level of trust that accompanies peace as well.  John could say what he said to them straightforwardly without them questioning if he loved them.  Hard words are often necessary but they do not have to be delivered in a critical spirit to accomplish their purpose.  You can almost hear the pain in John’s heart as he writes to correct those he loved so much.  Friends speak in a friendly manner.
Notice also in the last verse of Third John how John mentions the importance of greeting each other by name as friends.  The way to restore a broken relationship is by being friendly and personable.  In this last verse we see that this friendliness is reciprocal in nature.  In other words, it’s not just one-sided, but shared.  When someone says hello to you, you are to reciprocate and say hello in return.  When someone hugs you, you are to hug them back.  It is the nature of friends to enjoy sharing friendship.
In closing our look at Third John, consider the friends in your life.  Are you able to go through conflict and keep a friend?  Do you tend to write someone off rather than work through a problem and in so doing deepen your friendship?  Is there a friend you know you need to confront to clear the air about something that bothers you?  
We see that the people in John’s life represent those we deal with everyday.  Good advice an Handling Relationships from the Beloved Apostle.

Scripture to Claim:
The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  1 John 2:10

Devotional Archive