Posts Tagged Christian relationships

Modeling Christ

Titus 3: 2

… malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

Malign no one – that means that we are not to say anything bad about anyone at anytime. That is a big bill to fill but that is what God wants us to aspire to. What about being contentious? A contentious person is one who tends to argue, tends to find himself in arguments, debates and disagreements. Merriam-Webster defines a contentious person as one likely to cause an argument even sometimes “exhibiting an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes.” We all know or have known someone like that. Every time you talk with them they have another story about a conflict they have been involved in. God does not want us to live in conflict. He certainly does not want us to bring conflict into other people’s lives. As it says above Father God wants us to be gentle in our dealings with one another and to be considerate of every person with whom we come in contact. You cannot be contentious and kind. A contentious person will have a two-fold problem. First, people are not likely to enjoy being around them and secondly, one cannot fulfill the ambition of the Lord for one’s life while being quarrelsome. Let us endeavor, therefore, to live in peace. Let peace guide you.

Out Blessed

Galatians 6: 7

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

We have all heard the expression “Give and take”. It is particularly used to describe relationships. Well, I would like to coin a new phrase today. I want you to enjoy “give and give” relationships because this, I believe, is the Christian model.

I recently went on a camping trip where I got to renew old acquaintances and meet some great new people and it is from these folks that this idea has arisen in my consciousness. Let me begin with a little story which I believe will demonstrate why this idea of give-give has become prominent in my thinking. 

The first day there I met this lovely couple, Sally and Chad. There was an instant connection with them as we all paddled on the lake and talked about the Lord. That evening, everyone got together at our campsite. Well, I had just brewed a cup of tea when Sally and Chad arrived. We got to talking about tea and I told them about how I had discovered this brew (Good Earth Original Tea) in La Jolla, CA back when I lived in San Diego. We discovered that we shared a common interest. I offered them to smell or taste my tea and they both thought it smelled good so I made each of them a cup of tea. While we sat under the evening sky enjoying our Good Earth Tea (how appropriate) we discovered another tea connection. It turns out that they drink P.G. Tips which is an English blend. I was amazed to hear that someone else knew about P.G. Tips tea much less drinks it and I told them about my dear friend who is part British and about the Christmas she gave me a box of P.G. Tips. They could really appreciate how special that tea was for me and we really enjoyed talking and sharing.

Well, the evening went on, the weekend went on. It was a delight getting to know them a bit and we certainly enjoyed each other’s company. On Tuesday we all had to pack up and get out of the campsite before 11:00 but before Sally and Chad left Sally came down to say, “Good-bye.” That alone was a very nice gesture but before she left she handed me a Ziploc bag. You guessed it! It was full of P.G. Tips tea bags, thanks to which I am enjoying a beautiful cup of tea right now. I was very blessed by their kind thoughtfulness.  

Now, a bag of tea may not seem like a big deal but, honestly, it was the heart gesture involved. They sought to bless me, and they succeeded. It was the spirit behind the gift that was so loud and so precious. May I say it? It was love. They were moved by that spirit of love within them that seeks to honor and bless others and this couple just knows how to cooperate with the kind intentions of God’s soul. They have merged with the Spirit of love so they know how to be a blessing. Not only that but they actually strive and attempt to bless others. And I know other people who have accepted this mantle from Jesus and I must say they are an inspiration to me.

So now what do we think of this new relationship with Sally and Chad? Upon what is it based? I brewed them one little cup of tea each and the next thing I know they have out given me, out blessed me. It is almost like poker – they saw my two tea bags and raised me a whole bag. But wait, it ain’t over yet because this relationship is based on mutual blessing. It is a give – give relationship. So what does that mean? This weekend I am going to Trader Joe’s hoping to find Good Earth brand tea and when I do I am going to buy a whole box and send it to them. You see, it was completely my pleasure in the first place to share my tea with them. It gave me joy to do that for them. And they certainly did not need to reciprocate in any way nor was their gift to me a payback, because they didn’t owe me anything. They just sought to bless me and they did. Well, now I am hoping to bless them by surprising them with some Good Earth Tea. So, all you folks who know Sally and Chad keep this under your hat.

I want for you to have relationships that are based on mutual blessing. When we give ourselves to the life of Christ within us this sort of generosity and kindness ought to come bubbling up out of us and we ought to connect with others on this level. When you find people who are walking in the love of Christ I hope that you will hang on to them and let your relationships form around that kind, gentle and generous spirit who is Jesus, our Lord and who lives within each of us. When Jesus is the focal point, then abundance, prosperity and kindness will always be the fruits. Develop Give – Give relationships. Let each of you be selfless and honor one another in love. It is a great way to live and part of that abundant life that Jesus intended for you. Demand and expect for all of your Christian relationships to show this kind of grace and maturity which comes from a life surrendered to Christ. And, in the name of Jesus, Be Blessed even as you are a blessing!