Conquering Life’s Relationship Problems

incivility 1

Fights on the playground. Fights in the High School. Parents coaching children’s ballgames fighting with the opposing coaches. Democrats being uncivil with Republicans. Republicans being uncivil with Democrats. Husbands being harsh with children and wives. Wives with mean-spirited posts on Facebook about other wives. Bullying on elementary school buses. These are all headlines ripped from the media on almost any given week.

These tragic events, and make no mistake, each of them is an incipient cancer eating away at the fabric of Western culture, each of them is indeed, tragic. And each of them is filled with complications and hurts and pains, and sorrows, that seem to baffle the mind about how to untangle the heartache that each creates. But the Bible is not silent on these interpersonal issues.

incivility 3

The early church had relational problems too. Paul and Barnabas had a rough go of it in the early of ministry. Paul and Peter had one as well. The Corinthians multiple interpersonal problems are well documented. In Philippi, two women Euodia and Syntyche, were having such problems that Paul singles them out publicly and urges the whole church to help them sort out their difficulties. 

For that reason, it is a good idea to search Paul’s letter to the Philippians for the kind of help he wanted them to model and give to the two women having a difficult time living in harmony with one another.

Summing up Paul’s instructions to the saints at Philippi in Philippians 4:4-7.

  1. Start with a positive perspective of those in conflict. (vs. 3)

  2. Start too, with a rejoicing heart–remember the gospel. (vs. 4)

  3. Practice reasonableness and gentleness in every Situation (vs 5)

  4. Live in the presence of Christ. (vs. 5)

  5. Replace worry with trust and prayer. (v. 6)

  6. Receive the benefits of your relationship with Christ. (v. 7)

There is much more in the earlier chapters of the letter but this is a good start. Think about just those six principles. If we were to consciously cultivate these virtues, how much of life’s relationship problems would begin to disappear?

 


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