2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
Mothers, Fathers, Sons, Daughters, Employers, Employees, Husbands, Wives.
Relationships are the ONLY place where we can show that we are Christians.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
You can’t tell a Christian by the tasks they do, only by the way they treat other people.
What does God expect from, our relationships?
HUMILITY, like that of Christ’s
Humility means laying aside what you want for yourself and doing what God asks you to do. Notice, I did not say doing what everyone else tells you to do, or what you want to do – Christ did not do what others said or pick and choose what suited Him personally, but He was completely faithful to lay aside his own desires and wants for the Father’s will.
Humility is having the mind of Christ toward God and others. Humility in our relationships means we don’t think more highly of ourselves than other people.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Most of our relationship problems stem from one attitude expressed in one statement:
“Well, I wouldn’t do it that way!”
In the flesh, YOUR actions are the standard by which you judge everyone else.
In the Spirit, CHRIST’S actions are the standard by which you judge yourself.
How did Christ judge us?
HE DIDN’T! He had compassion and mercy on us; He came to save the world, not to judge the world.
“If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
So you need to remember the love, compassion and mercy that Christ had for you as you went your selfish way meeting your own needs and doing things the way that you wanted to do them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
In every relationship you have, you have been given one mandate – love (not judge) – and that means giving of yourself for the benefit of another.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Now, let me be clear about what that does not mean. It does not mean doing whatever the other person wants or even what you want. You are called to do for them what God commands. You are called to do what He directly tells you to do and what the Word tells you to do. The point of your actions should be whatever will bring them closer to God the Father and more like Christ.
You are to remember Christ’s compassion, love and mercy on you while you have repeatedly gotten it wrong and treat others with the same compassion, love and mercy you have been shown. Your only other option is to Judge others by your own standards, and if you do that, God will judge you.
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Humility is how you work out your salvation with fear and trembling, remembering who you were and what God saved you from, and treating others how you were treated by Christ. He could have judged you for all of your wrongdoings, but chose not to. He expects you to share that same compassion with others.
Now, here’s a hard one. Do everything without grumbling or complaining, without slandering the other person. It is really no one else’s business what is going on with other people with whom you have relationships. Bringing up what someone else has done wrong really only means that you want other people to side with you in judgement against them, but that is not God’s will either.
Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
It is one thing to speak to a pastor or counselor for guidance in a situation, but that should be after you have exhausted your search for answers in the Word and through prayer. Before you share someone else’s faults with others, you had better make sure that you are not doing it out of selfishness because they are simply not doing what you would want them to do.
Also, ask yourself this question. Is what they are doing ANNOYING, or is it a real PROBLEM? If it is annoying, then you need to just get over it and realize that you can’t have everything your own way. If it is a problem, then your job is not to stand there and complain but to problem solve it. You need to face it and deal with it, not talk about it to others. If all you are is talking about it and not attempting to resolve it, you don’t need to open your mouth about it at all!
Everyone, without exception, is going to fail you, disappoint you, not do things the way you would do them. That is a given. But sometimes people disappoint you because you put your trust in them when you shouldn’t have. For whatever reason or need, you gave someone else a responsibility they couldn’t handle, or trusted them with finances they couldn’t faithfully steward. Maybe you felt bad for them, or just really needed somebody, anybody to help you at that moment. Then the consequences come down and you want to kill someone.
But before you go on a rampage, you had better make sure that this mess isn’t of your own doing, because you were not willing to take on the responsibility yourself, or because you couldn’t say no to someone, or because you moved and acted without knowing the will of God and just guessed about your next move. RARELY is the mess you are in due to anyone else other than yourself and your own bad decision making. So do not trash someone else’s reputation because you made some bad decisions, or because they simply won’t give in and do what you want them to do.
Now I don’t want to end this without dealing with the other side of the coin. Yes, we are not to judge, we are to have compassion and mercy on others, and not complain about them to others. But if you are the one about whom someone else is complaining, you need to take note and ask yourself “What truth is there in what they are saying about me?” Because you may not be holding up your end of the relationship, and have mishandled things because of your own selfishness, ignorance or pride.
All parties in relationships are called to love and sacrifice for one another. If you absolutely refuse to listen to what someone close to you has to say about you, a relationship that you truly care about, then you are not acting in love. Obviously, something you are doing is really bothering them, so what is the loving (self-sacrificial) response supposed to be? To ignore them and keep doing it, or to really look at the situation and pray about how you can sacrifice in order to meet someone else’s need?
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Husbands are supposed to love their wives and sacrifice for them.
Wives are to show their husbands respect.
Employees are to show respect for and do excellent work for their Employers.
Employers are to be fair and honorable with their Employees.
Parents are not to put harsh demands on their children that they cripple them.
Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Elders are to protect the spiritual health of their church members.
Church members are to respect and honor their Elders.
In every relationship, God calls us to sacrifice on behalf of others so that we will be in one mind, one spirit, sharing the mind of Christ, working for the same goal, which is bringing about the Kingdom of God on earth, bringing people to Christ, making disciples and becoming more like Him.