Why Relationships are Important – Part 1
There are two reasons why relationships are important when it comes to the Body of Christ. The first one I would like to discuss in this chapter and the second one I will discuss in the next.
Relationships are important because of the Body of Christ. Consider some of these verses:
1 Corinthians 12:12 “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”
Ephesians 4:14-16 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
John 17:22-23 (Jesus says) “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.”
If I understand Scripture properly, the Body of Christ functions according to how the interpersonal relationships are working. If our relationships are not right with each other then the Body of Christ is not right. Broken relationships hinder growth more than anything else.
If one member is in disagreement with another so that they separate from one another, the Body hurts. The analogy that Paul uses is that of a human body. If one member of the body (let it be an arm, leg, foot, toe, finger, etc.) is hurting or not functioning the way it should, it hurts the entire body.
According to John 17:23, Jesus said, “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
The word “complete” brings out the idea of perfecting one another. In other words, I need my brother to help me to become complete in Christ. This is not something that I can do on my own.
Every day you and I allow evil things to come into our hearts. God brings this out through what the prophet Jeremiah spoke: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (17:9) I need my brother to help me see what is deceiving me so that it does not begin to produce any actions of evil.
For many years after I was saved I thought that I could personally push for maturity on my own since it seemed that the Body in Christ, in general, was not interested. It wasn’t until I got more involved with the O.M. ships’ ministry that I began to change my thinking and recognize that I needed my brothers and sisters in Christ in order to grow up in the Lord. If I am not growing then the Body of Christ is not growing. If the Body of Christ is not growing then I am not growing as a part of the Body. Realizing this truth made me work harder using my spiritual gifts which have been given from God – for the common good of the Body of Christ; that it matures in Christ.