During my career in corrections, I worked with literally hundreds of people. I’m talking about staff. Not inmates. And as I put this lesson together, I found myself thinking back to some of the harder people I had to work with. I remembered one supervisor who made my time at work a nightmare…every morning for 18 months I had to force myself to go to work. I literally hated to go to work because of that person.
Sometimes, getting along with co-workers is similar to getting along with other Christians. So, what makes you different? Is it based solely on what you believe? While that is important, it needs to be way more than that. Supernatural responses overpower natural reactions!
How we treat fellow Christians should make us stand out in the world.
We know this because of Bible verses like John 13:35, where Jesus says, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Our text is Romans 12:9-19. Let me give you the background. The first two verses of Romans 12 are about our relationship with God. Verses 3-8 are about our relationship with Christ and verses 9-19 are about our relationship with other believers.
This text proves that the Christian life is all about relationships, including other believers. From this passage, I see four directives that will help you get along with other Christians.
1. Show compassion. (14-15)
Now be honest… Is that your go to response? No, the truth is, it is not human nature to bless the person that hurts you or mistreats you. Not at all. The first thing you want to do is light them up and give them a piece of your mind! Christian or not, they have it coming!
But the truth is, as a Christ follower, you have a choice. You get to choose between taking a natural reaction or allowing for a supernatural response. We are directed to be compassionate.
Naturally – We don’t like to celebrate the success of others. Supernaturally – We are commanded to rejoice with others in their success and show compassion in their failure.
You can do this by being willing to sacrifice your need to always be right.
Do you know anyone who just has to be right all the time? My next question is this: Do you think anybody thought about you when I just asked that question? I almost guarantee you that no one thought of themselves. True humility occurs when you don’t take yourself too seriously. We can only be who we are. We can’t be anybody else. That’s why it says here, “Don’t be conceited, don’t be proud.” Just understand that God made you a certain way. So, when it comes to humility, The natural reaction is to elevate ourselves above others. The supernatural response is to humble ourselves.
3. Show peace. Look at verses 17-18.
Hurt people…hurt people! They’ve got some kind of pain, some kind of problem going on that they are allowing to control the way they’re treating you. Cut them some slack. Give them the benefit of a doubt. Don’t treat them the way they treat you.
The natural reaction is to repay evil with evil. The supernatural response is to be a peace maker. It’s that instinct for revenge, that we all have, that we must deny and resist. Don’t re-pay evil for evil, be a peace maker.
When you are struggling with a fellow Christian, you need to remember this statement: You may create enemies by your position, but you should never create enemies by your disposition.
You may not agree on somethings, but you can lovingly disagree on anything! Show peace to your fellow Christians.
When it comes to showing patience… The natural reaction is to take revenge. The supernatural response is to wait for God to intervene.
Be patient with your fellow Christian and give God room to do what only He can do. In other words:
Allow supernatural responses to overpower your natural reactions!
So, How do I co-exist with crazy Christians?
1. Pray for them. Especially the ones that drive you crazy. Praying may not change them, but it will change you. It’s a lot harder to dislike someone when you’re faithfully praying for them.
2. Find practical ways to serve them. Look at verse 20, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
Can I tell you how I translate that? Do the unexpected! Simply put, we are to treat others the way Jesus treated us. Paul reminds us of this in Colossians 1:21-22, And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He (God) has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, (Why) in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.
If Christ is willing to work with us, we can do the same with our fellow believers.
Allow supernatural responses to overpower your natural reactions! Pray for them. Serve them in practical ways.
Will you start these practices today? I hope you will.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.