There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. ~Proverbs 18:24, NLT
Lately I've been struggling with how ugly we can be to each other. How much we seem to enjoy tearing each other down. Envy, jealousy, gossip, and just plain hate is covering the steps of our churches and the hearts of us Christians.
I have not stepped foot in a church in over a year and it is starting to wear on me. Not because I feel like my relationship with God is weak, yet because I'm not able to find a loving place of worship. This greatly saddens me.
We are in desperate need of a Paul to set things better, to set things right, because churches and Christians are becoming more like the world and that is a bad thing. A very bad thing.
A few days ago I ran into a person from my old church. I've known this woman for years, she was even a youth leader of mine, yet has always seemed to dislike me. Every word that comes out of her mouth is a back hand slap, like honey with poison. What hurts even more is seeing the great joy she has doing it... it's written all over her face. I pretend to be dumb, be kind, and ignore her words, yet I can't stand to be around her very long... it's very tiresome. If I call her out on it, she'll use her words and flip it, where it will be all my fault and poor her. I am not the only one she does this to and I don't understand why she enjoys it so much.
Too many churches seem to be a place of hate, jealousy, and lies. Not a place of love, peace, and truth. Please know I'm not talking about every church, just the few I've been in. We seem to set each other at levels... from highest to lowest, not equal. Too many of us pretend... especially us young adults. So many of us judge and gossip behind each others backs... woman especially, please shut up if you can't talk about nice things. Truly how hard is it?
When did we lose the true meaning? When did we become what we teach to not be? Where is the love?
I recently found this and I love it... let's start living more like this! I CHALLENGE you and I am going to live, breath, and eat this loving one-another ministry... Please join me :-)
A local church is not built by one man, or even a few men, but by every believer being actively involved in ministry through evangelizing the lost people in their lives and serving their fellow Christians. A quick glance at the practice of the New Testament church reveals that they thought very little about programs and very much about relationships.
Consider the disciple-making that would naturally take place in the life of a local church if every believer would practice the loving, one-another ministry that the early churches first read about in the instructions they received from the apostles:
- Be devoted to one another (Rom. 12:10).
- Give preference to one another (Rom. 12:10).
- Be of the same mind toward one another (Rom. 12:16).
- Accept one another by withholding judgment (Rom. 14:1).
- Accept one another by showing deference (Rom. 14:1–5; 15:7).
- Esteem [highly regard] one another in love (Rom. 14:5; Phil. 2:3).
- Build up one another (Rom. 14:19; 1 Thes. 5:11).
- Counsel one another (Rom. 15:14).
- Serve one another by showing deference in matters of liberty (Gal. 5:13).
- Bear one another’s sin burdens (Gal. 6:2).
- Be gentle with one another (Eph. 4:2).
- Be kind to one another so as to preserve unity (Eph. 4:32).
- Speak truth to one another (Eph. 4:25; Col 3:9).
- Submit to one another (Eph. 5:21).
- Show compassion to one another (Col. 3:12).
- Bear with the inherent sinfulness of one another (Col. 3:13).
- Forgive one another (Col. 3:13).
- Use Spirit-filled, Word-saturated music to teach and admonish one another (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19).
- Comfort one another with the hope of Christ’s return (1 Thes. 4:18).
- Encourage one another (1 Thes. 5:11).
- Live in peace with one another (1 Thes. 5:13).
- Seek good for one another (1 Thes. 5:15).
- Encourage one another to forsake unbelief and hardness of heart (Heb. 3:13).
- Stimulate one another to spiritual growth (Heb. 10:24).
- Encourage one another by faithful participation in your local church (Heb. 10:25).
- Confess sins to one another (James 5:16).
- Pray for one another’s spiritual and physical healing (James 5:16).
- Be long-suffering and patient toward one another (1 Peter 4:8; Eph. 4:2).
- Be hospitable to one another without complaint (1 Peter 4:9).
- Serve one another (1 Peter 4:10; Gal. 5:13).
- Act in humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5).
- Show holy affection to one another (1 Peter 5:14).
- Participate in the holy walk with one another (1 John 1:7).
- Refuse to become resentful toward one another (1 John 3:11–12).
- Give sacrificially to meet one another’s needs (1 John 3:16–17).
- Fight fear together by growing in love (1 John 4:18).
- Walk in truth together (1 John 3:18; 2 John 1:5).