I was hoping the last two posts (“A warm welcome in a…” and “Alone in the Church“) might generate a few more thoughts, opinions, and ideas. It is not too late to comment, so feel free to.
Today at the used book store I found a Christian book called: Authentic Relationships, discover the lost art of ‘one anothering’. I have only skimmed through it, but it seems like an exceptional and practical book. There are about 50 “one another” verses in the New Testament. The book groups these “one another” verses into similar categories, and there is a chapter on each. Such as…cheer leading (encouraging one another), pooling our wisdom (admonishing one another), a soft place to fall (forgiving and accepting open another), etc. It is easy to say “oh yes we should encourage one another” – but HOW can we actually go about doing this? This book offers practical, real life, examples and ideas. There are also discussion questions if a group of people want to go through this book together.
As Christians, we should be the best at authentic relationships, but we seem to be failing miserably in our culture today. As the sub-title of the book suggests, it is a “lost art” that needs to be re-discovered.
Why should Christians be the best at this? Our Triune God is a model for us. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in an eternal and intimate relationship. Jesus Christ, the Son, stepped into our world to live among us, and opened the door for all people to have an intimate relationship with God. The New Testament emphasizes a “one another” life. We, as believers, should have a better understanding than anyone else about the broken world we live in, and thus be more realistic about the struggles of life…and easily grasp why we need deep and genuine relationships with each other in order to make it.
Look up all the “one another” verses in the New Testament, and spend some time reading over them, contemplating them, and praying how the Lord might help you better live a “one another” life. And the book mentioned above seems like a worthwhile and practical resource as well.