This Christian CARE Relationship Skills study can help us understand better how to develop strong characters, and be a blessing to others. Good communication skills hold the key to success in this area.
The Bible states: …we are ambassadors for Christ … 2 Corinthians 5:20
When someone accepts Jesus Christ as a personal Saviour, a special commission is received from God: the person becomes His ambassador. Christians have been given a great work to do. We are to assist people who live in this world in a variety of ways. Some of these include:
- Revealing the true character of God
- Presenting the message of grace and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ
- Teaching the importance of loving obedience to God and His Law
- Warning of judgments to come upon all who choose to fight against Him
- Helping in the preparation for eternal life
Bound up in these statements is a wide array of responsibilities, including teaching, counseling, understanding, helping, loving and caring for those we desire to bring God’s blessing to.
Some of these points may not seem as important as others. Teaching and counseling people sometimes seems more essential than trying to understand them. But what may appear minor in importance can greatly affect human relationships and their future.
To be successful in fulfilling God’s commission there are things developing ambassadors need to know.
In this workshop we will be examining the subject of human interaction as it relates to the home, the church, and the world.
Speaking specifically of God’s church and its members, again, the Bible says:
“… there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”
1 Corinthians 12:25
The same principles of life should be seen in our families, in God’s church, and in the world also.
But, what exactly is this CARE?
= COURTESY… Gracious politeness and helpful consideration of others.
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous…” 1 Peter 3:8
= ATTITUDE… A manner of acting, feeling or thinking.
A Bible illustration of an attitude in action: “And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Genesis 45:4, 5
= RESPECT… To show honour or esteem for someone, or something.
“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:2, 3
= ENTHUSIASM… Zeal, optimism, eagerness to help and be a blessing.
“[Jesus Christ] Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14
Examine the table on the page below. Print it out on your computer (or write the information it contains on a separate sheet of paper), and place a check mark in the space you think best describe how people close to you (relatives, friends, church members, co-workers, etc.) seem to relate and act toward you, and toward each other in the various ways listed. You might want to consider each group separately for your ratings in order to obtain a better overall idea of their responses as you view them from your own perspective.
Christian Relationships Rating Chart
|Concern for Others|
Which areas listed in the chart above do you think are most in need of improvement in the associations of your life?
These traits of character are necessary qualifications for service as God’s ambassadors. They are sometimes overlooked. When this happens a series of problems usually begins.
When people are not as courteous as they need to be (both in and outside the family and the church), attitudes can change quickly (depending on the circumstances surrounding them).
Poor attitudes follow.
Enthusiasm for others (and the work that needs to be done) often suffers.
Kindness, understanding, appreciation and Christian love are affected too.
Have you seen these things happen?
Let’s look again at these areas of Christian behavior, and ask some important questions:
1. Would you like to see people, as individuals, and as a church family, improve their behavior toward each other?
2. In what ways would you like to see people behave toward you?
3. Why do you think people have difficulty revealing good personal qualities in their character?
4. What do you believe stands in the way of improvement and progress?
5. Can you think of some changes that might be made in order to help people reveal character in a finer way?
6. Can you think of some things that you personally are willing to do to help establish better Christian relationships among those you associate with?
“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13: 34, 35
There is an article entitled, The Three Faces of Love, written by Ken McMillan. In this article he stated that love has three different faces: I love you if … I love you because … I love you in spite of …
The first face of love is expressed as the “if” face. If someone does or does not do something for another person it is seen. An example of this might be: I love you if you do what I tell you to do; or, I love you if you don’t do something I don’t want you to do. This love is conditional. It shows acceptance only as someone conforms to the will and wishes of another person (such wishes may be good or evil; but the key here is acceptance). It implies that if there is no conformity the love ends. Think about this face. Does it illustrate a true love, or not?
The second face of love is revealed in another way. It shows that someone is loved “because” of something… maybe because they look nice, or wear a certain style of clothes, or share the same thoughts and ideas, or… You can fill in some examples. This love also appears to be conditional. If the motivating reason behind the “I love you because” face changes (if something would happen to change the way someone looks, or dresses, or another idea is presented that conflicts with someone’s ideas, etc.), then again the love comes to an end. Think about this face. Is this a true love, or not?
The third face shows love “in spite of” the way someone thinks, acts, dresses, appears, etc… It shows love no matter what happens, or doesn’t happen. It’s not conditional. It doesn’t make unreasonable demands on its receiver. Think about this face. Is this a true love, or not? Which kind of love should people have for one another, and for God? Which of these three kinds of love do you think God has for people?
In my own personal experiences of life, with the Lord I have found that there is a Fourth Face we would do well to consider. It is one that shows that God loves us because that is His character. God is love the Bible states; and we are to be like Him in character. When we are developing a relationship with God, our character will become more and more like His. And when we ask God why He loves us, His answer is: “Because I do. My character has within it a desire to love you; and I do.”
It’s not because He has to always overlook how we think about things, or how we act at times, or the clothes we wear, or how we appear to others. This He has done, probably many times, so He can help us become the people He designed us to be. But things that are not a reflection of His character can be overcome with His help. God has promised to help and keep us in His love and care when we really want (more than anything else) a close and living relationship with Him, first above all. He wants to be with us, and He wants us to be with Him, for eternity.
As we work to help others in this world, at some point we are going to meet people who may need help in a variety of ways. If our character is becoming more like God’s character, then He will help us to care about people, and to help them in whatever ways we can. We aren’t able to do all things for all people, but God is able. There is nothing too hard for Him. In working for others, and doing what we can to truly be of help, we can also point them to the Lord for that which is beyond our ability. He knows what is best, and can supply every need. We don’t always know what is the best way to help, or how to supply what is needed; but as we place our full trust in God, He promises to provide what is best when we ask Him.
Caring and showing love for God, others and ourselves is everyone’s business. We need to understand better how to effectively share that which will help us develop good characters and be a blessing to others. Good communication skills hold the key to success in this area.
This article was written and designed by Chris Teske
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