united we stand

Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].

 

I wonder how much differently we would approach relationships if we fully embraced the fact that they are more about those around us, than for us…

Have you ever met a person who, after having spent time with them, you felt more encouraged, empowered, or inspired? Their energy is contagious, even if not “energetic,” and their world view and positioning in their faith stirs up your own spirit.

Conversely, what does it feel like to have been in the presence of someone who drained or discouraged you? Have you ever walked away experiencing a feeling of loss or of discouragement?

After either encounter, what do you take with you? To your family? Spouse? Your other friends?

On occasion I will find myself confronted with questioning of certain decisions I have made to bless others; specifically those who may not, on the surface, have anything to offer me in return, or have even brought my life an element of grief or brokenness. While it may be hard for some to understand, it is invaluable to me that I remember that what I sow into my life, the lives of others, my environment and community will bring a harvest – both for myself and those around me.

As Christ-followers, we are designed and called for a specific purpose in this one and only life we live. Some are called to teach, others to heal, many are called to give to the poor, to serve the weak, to minister and grace one another. Regardless of what we are each designed to do, the manner in which we treat those around us, and the relationships we surround ourselves with, directly affect not only our faith walk, but the walk of those around us. To lift up and edify another, or to tear them down, will have a ripple effect that can potentially be echoed for generations.

One of the people I work the hardest to honor is the father of my two older children. We were married for a very short time, but the obligation to co-parent remains. There is no relationship in my kids’ lives more important than the one they have with their father. When I honor he and his position, cover his actions/decisions that I disagree with, and speak life over him, and about him, to our children, it not only brings health and favor over his life, but subsequently to his children as well. How my kids perceive and relate to their father will have deep repercussions in their own life choices, perspectives and peace – for themselves and for their potential children.

For generations to come.

Doing life from the position of full ownership to myself and to those around me is not always easy, and sometimes brings with it a deep loneliness – not everyone shares my beliefs about relationship – and yet I don’t see that a walk with Christ can be done any other way. At least, not very effectively. 

In the end, we truly are all in this life together, and whenever we breathe life into others, we help support them and encourage them in living to their greatest capacity, and visa versa. When we are each empowered to walk in grace, love, support and encouragement, we are a part of caring for ourselves as well. The Word says there is a commanded blessing in unity, and I can think of no other manner in which I would love for us all to live. 

Honor your father and mother; and love your neighbor as yourself” [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].
 
Whoever does not welcome you, nor listen to your message [of hope], as you leave that house or city, shake the dust [of it] off your feet [in contempt, breaking all ties].
 
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.
 
so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other].
 
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