S52P7 – Outside ourselves: sowing and reaping

Gal. 5:13-15

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

It was never enough for him to simply have.  Even when his coffers were full, he always looked at what others had in comparison.  This attitude did not merely concern material possessions, but it even infiltrated his personal relationships.  When he was away at school, he had to be the one with the most friends.  He would make up stories and spread them strategically so that this one and that one would no longer be friends. He developed quite a talent for destroying friendships and creating discord.  What he did not realize was that this would eventually affect his own relationships.  His loose lips would prompt others to question whether they could trust him as a friend.  The discord he sowed among his classmates caused his friendships to crumble as well.

Our behavior with one another is like a gardener sowing seeds.  You can say that we are farmers working the fields of personal relationship. If a farmer wants a good crop, he has to know how to make that happen.  It starts with good soil.  He then needs a healthy seed, and he has to know how to make that seed grow.  From watering to fertilizing, there is a science and an art to growing a good crop.  It is the same with our relationships with one another.  We cannot expect to get out of them more than what we put into them.  We must be sure to have the goal of building relationships, even if they are relationships that do not necessarily involve us, instead of having the goal of tearing them apart. If we live to create discord among others, we can only expect to suffer discord in our own relationships.

We know that this subject is serious when Paul talks about the brothers getting to the point where they actually are consumed because of their discord, devouring one another.  It paints a picture of the death of relationship that can come from our irresponsible care of it.  This is at the heart of the functional Church.  If we are to survive and be productive, we must sow into our relationships regularly and correctly. How we approach others is how we can expect others to approach us. It is about agreeing to speak life into what we share. It is about having the goal of making the brethren closer and more fruitful over time. Father, thank You for the relationships you allow us to share with one another, and make us vigilant to care for those relationships correctly so that they are powerful and effective for the kingdom.