Ep.1270: How Strong Are My Relationships? (Part III)
Building strong and effective brotherhood relationships in Christ
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Theme Scripture: 1 Peter 1:22
Human relationships are a key factor in human survival and well-being. We need them, and God has designed humanity in such a way as to thrive when healthy relationships are present. In Part I and Part II of this three-part series, we drilled down into marriage relationships, as well as family and close friend relationships. We found striking similarities in the “how to” of making these relationships stronger. Much of our input came from 1 Corinthians 13, the "love chapter." In our final episode of this series, we now look at our relationships within our Christian fellowship. Though the principles remain the same, what we will find here are some significant differences and challenges unique to our calling to Christ.
You may have heard the saying, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your relatives.” The implication is that relationships with relatives will have more inherent challenges due to this unchosen connection. Now think about our relationships with fellow Christians. These connections are based not on our personal preferences or family blood lines. They are based on the blood of Christ only. This means that those whom we would have chosen to avoid or those who were even former enemies are now in the category of being closer than a brother.
A necessary connection with our opposites
If we claim to be true disciples of Jesus, this close connection with those who may be our opposites is a requirement. It can be an invitation for disaster if we attempt to develop it just based upon our human thoughts and feelings. Just ask those who were the earliest Christians, especially after Gentiles were called to Christ along with Jews. Before the call to all nations to follow Jesus, Jewish culture avoided Gentile influence. Now as disciples, both groups were instructed to leave their past thinking, habits and traditions behind and adopt a unified approach as a brotherhood.
Jesus told us to “Love one another as I have loved you.”
How do we do that? How do we make these brotherhood relationships work on such a high level? The answers are abundantly clear in Scripture if we choose to search them out. The first 2 parts of this series laid important groundwork, as they focused on the scriptural principles of selfless love and respect. Putting these principles into practice in all of our close relationships is the necessary staring point.
Check out our February 27, 2023 podcast, “How Strong Are My Relationships? (Part III) for more. Using the scriptural basis of 1 Corinthians 13, we delve into the practicality of how to enhance our Christian fellowship. Interestingly, our love for one another needs to be based upon both selfless love and brotherly love. It needs to be profoundly respectful, coming from as pure a heart as we can possibly have. Jesus showed us how to do this, and the Apostle Paul explained it in great detail. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to be better connected to the body of Christ!