Summary: Christ’s love in us overcomes the world, the fleshly tendency for self-centeredness and the devil’s attempts to demean, demoralize and defeat us.
Interpersonal Do’s and Don’ts
Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you. By this will all men know that you are my disciples because you have love for one another." (John 13:34,35)
Illustration: Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. --Hebrews 10:24
You wouldn’t think that Lou Joline needed any encouragement to keep running. At the age of 65, he has completed 61 marathons in 31 states and has been named one of the nation’s top five "fittest over 50." But Joline can’t do it alone. He relies on the support of three running clubs he belongs to. His advice to people who want to get more exercise is to make it a social event. "Get in with a group," he says. "If your friends are doing it, you’re going to do it."
Although we may embrace that approach to physical fitness, many of us think we can make it on our own spiritually. Yet, if we’re going to be fit in our faith, we need each other. In Hebrews we read, "Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (10:24-25).
Are you involved in a local church congregation? Do you attend a small group for Bible study? Do you have a friend with whom you can bare your soul and pray? Do you need to broaden your opportunities for fellowship?
If we’re going to be spiritually fit, we need all the encouragement and support we can get. --DCM
Christian fellowship provides us
With encouragement and love;
It will help us in our journey,
Till we reach our home above. --Sper
Spiritual fitness should be a team effort. (Our Daily Bread)
The love of agape is the unconditional caring, giving and self-sacrificing love that exudes from one who is led by the power of the word, the Spirit and Christ’s love. It is impossible to be patient, kind and considerate of others’ needs without the love of Christ filling our mind, emotion and spirit. His love enables us to love even those who criticize, misunderstand or misjudge us.
The love of God gives a person an overcoming capability to not be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good. His love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. His love never fails in any situation, cirucmstances or in the face of helpless feelings.
Love overlooks a fault as it evidences the following traits in one’s interpersonal relationships:
1. Love one another as Jesus Christ has loved you. (John 13:34,35)
2. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love and pursue Godly goals together. (Romans 12:10)
3. Honor one another above yourself and speak affirmingly to each other with respect. (Rom. 12:10)
4. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13)
5. Bless those who persecute you. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Rom.12:14)
6. Live in harmony with one another. Be willing to associate with people of low position. (Rom. 12:16)
7. Do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, live at peace with everyone. (Rom 12:17,18)
8. Accept him whose faith is weak without passing judgment on disputable matters. (Rom. 14:1)
9. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. (Rom. 13:9,10)
10. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Rom. 13:7)
11. Make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Rom. 14:19)
12. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Rom. 15:7)
13. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of live. (Eph. 5:1)
14. Do something useful with your hands that you may have something to share with those in need. (Eph. 4:28)
15. Put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. (Eph. 4:25)
16. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Eph. 4:32)
17. Speak the truth in love so that you may grow up into Him who is the Head, that is Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:15,16)
18. As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell richly in you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts. (Col. 3:12-16)