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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Relationships Go Better When We Find Things In Common

In review of 1 Corinthians 1:10 it says, “You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.”

Bottom Line:
We must strive to get along with and be considerate of each other avoiding divisions or taking sides. Work to cultivate a life in common.

What this means to me:
I am to strive to always get along, be considerate and live in harmony with others. I am to avoid divisions, especially in the Church. Paul encourages me to work on being of one mind, united in thought and in in purpose.

In today's passage from 1 Corinthians 1, Paul writes about Divisions in the Church. He starts by appealing to each of us, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the the Church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

Paul spoke this because he had heard of quarrels where some are saying, I'm a follower of Paul, others Apollos, others Peter. or that they only follow Christ. Paul points out that Christ has not been divided into factions, nor has anyone been baptized in the name of one of us. Christ has sent he (Paul) to not baptize but rather preach the Good News, and not with clever speech as to distract away from the Cross of Christ.

Conformity, compromise and working well with others seems to be one skill that isn’t really reflected in our culture or taught in our schools. However, it’s a very important skills to learn especially if we are going to be a happy and joyful person. Quite the opposite, being uncooperative with others, leads to unhappiness.

In order to work with other people I must learn to:

First, learn to cooperate with others. Epaphroditus was a man that the church in Philippi sent to Rome with a gift of financial support for Paul while he was in prison. Philippians 2:25 says, “I feel that I must send Epaphroditus — my brother, co worker, and fellow soldier — back to you. You sent him as your personal representative to help me in my need” (GWT). By calling Epaphroditus his brother, co worker, and fellow soldier, Paul was saying that life and ministry is a family, it’s a fellowship, and it’s a fight.

The church is the family of God. I am a brother with the people I minister to and worship with, and we should treat them as such. It’s also a fellowship, where I work and serve together with a common goal, the Great Commission. In addition, I’m in the same fight as others against Satan, and I need to support and to support others. I need to defend and encourage others. The “best” place to learn how to cooperate with others is in the church.

Secondly, I need to learn to be considerate. Paul is speaking of Epaphroditus again in Philippians 2:26 when he says, “He has been longing to see all of you and is troubled because you heard that he was sick.” There are two examples of consideration. Paul is considerate of his co-worker’s homesickness, and Epaphroditus is considerate about the Philippians’ concern. The more considerate I learn to be of other people’s needs, doubts, and fears, the happier I’ll be.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common” (MSG).

By nature I am not a considerate person, because I tend to think of myself first and not the needs of others. “Cultivating a life in common” takes work, and learning to get along and work well with others takes practice. Like a garden that requires cultivation to bear fruit, you’ll see how your effort bears the fruit of happiness and strong relationships.

In summary, I am to strive to always get along, be considerate and live in harmony with those around me. I am to avoid divisions, especially as it relates to my Church family. Paul encourages me to work on being of one mind, united in thought and in in purpose.

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