Monday, March 18, 2024

Living the Jesus Way – The Way of Relationships

Monday, March 18, 2024

“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use. Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5

Living the Jesus Way – The Way of Relationships

Relationships can be complex and hard, yet one of the most rewarding gifts God has given us. When we are invited into a relationship it is just the beginning. If we want a  healthy, growing relationship, the answer to the invitation is just the beginning. The path and journey define the relationship. The ups and downs, the good times and hard times, they all define us individually and corporately in our relationship. 

Our relationship with Jesus Christ is not one-time event, but a life-long process of sanctification. When we are walking in that relationship and he has the first place in our lives, it will spill out into everything we do and say and into every area of our lives. It is our Key truth in The Jesus Way series - To follow Jesus means to live out the values and principles of His Kingdom with our whole lives. How we treat other people may be the most telling characteristic in our lives of where our relationship with Jesus stands. We all have relationships, there is no way around it. When we have experienced and understood the love, grace, and mercy we have been given, we are free to love others in the same way. If we are truly walking The Jesus Way, it will be impossible to hold that kind of love back. It seeps out of us when we don’t even know it because that is a natural result of a relationship with Jesus.

Sometimes our relationships can be difficult. Jesus tells us that we should bear with others as Christ bears with us so we can illustrate His love for the church and be a witness to a lost world. People are always watching, even when you don’t know it. They see how Christians respond in conflicts and in situations with strangers and loved ones alike. 

When the motivation of our hearts is not focused on walking The Jesus Wayit will affect our relationships. We stop treating them like God would want us to and we start treating them in a way that fits our own agenda, which breaks our relationships, and breaks our witness to those on the outside watching.                                                                                                  

Living The Jesus Way means loving the unlovable. It also means loving the lovely when they are unlovable - because we all are at times. We are so quick to judge without even knowing what is under all the layers that make up a person’s behavior. Jesus warns us against judging othersbecause he knows we are all sinners and when we look in the mirror, we seldom see the plank in our own eye. We are called to love people as Jesus does period. Not to judge, not to inflict punishment and not to treat them in such a way that they do not feel worthy of anything. The same grace that saved us is the same grace that is given to them, by the very same God. 

What love is not – love is not accepting disrespect or tolerating abuse in the name of living The Jesus Way. We are to have hearts that are burdened for those living in sin, to love them, and to approach them in love and truth about the sin in their lives. If we know someone caught in sin and we turn our heads and do nothing, we are not loving them at all. Sometimes we may ignore what people are doing because it is convenient for us. For selfish reasons we don’t want to rock the boat. Some of us have spent a lifetime of keeping the boat upright, and we think it is our job, but our real job is to walk The Jesus Way in each and every area of our lives. Sometimes that means rocking the boat. Unfortunately some people do not want to know the truth, even when you are speaking the truth in love. Without honesty we are not living authentically and more importantly, we are not building authentic relationships with others that glorify Christ

Every relationship in our lives is built on the foundation of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. The boundless love of Jesus Christ in our lives changes everything, including our ability to love and tolerate others. Loving others with a tolerant love, such as Christ has for us, is having patience with others, taking the time to understand where they may be coming from, and allowing space for differences. Being tolerant of others looks like grace and feels like acceptance. Jesus accepts us as we are and meets us in the middle of our messes. His boundless love and grace tolerates our failures over and over again, and never gives up on us. Be mindful of those who cross your path.  Show His boundless love to everyone you come in contact withtoday and every day.

How do the relationships in your life show that you are walking The Jesus Way? 





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