Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Discernment in Relationships

You don't have to be involved in relationships with others for very long before you realize that most of the time there are not "one size fits all" answers to the problems we face. As much as we would like to say, "When 'X' happens, do 'Y'," we readily acknowledge that a host of factors specific to each scenario render mere formula following ineffective and more important, unloving.  In short, we need godly wisdom to navigate the complexities of relationships. Thankfully, our God is not stingy in His giving of wisdom, but He generously gives to all who ask (James 1:5; cf. Proverbs 2:6).

One example of the generous wisdom given to us by our God to help us interact with one another in a way that honors Him is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:14. It says, "And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all." Two observations to note:
First, we see that not everyone is to be treated in precisely the same way. Rather, we must discern the condition of the person with whom we are interacting and respond appropriately.
Second, although each person is not to be treated in precisely the same way, we are to be patient with each person.  We remember that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. When we are patient with others we realize it is only by God's grace as His Spirit works within us and we have reason to praise Him!

By God's grace we can implement the principles of this verse as we grow in relationship with one another and encourage one another toward Christlikeness.

Pastor Blake

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