The Christian faith is incredibly practical. It isn’t simply meant to be debated in lecture halls or discussed on blogs. Our faith is meant to be lived out. What we believe affects how we live. And at the heart of our faith is the gospel – the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done. As this good news is continually unpacked and believed, it changes everything. One area in particular is how we relate to one another – both within and outside the church.
On Sunday, we heard Paul’s instruction to Timothy on how he was to deal with the older and younger men and women at the church. Paul says that they are to be treated as family. As fathers. As mothers. As sisters. As brothers. Why? Because they really are. Christians are those who have been adopted by God and now share a new Father, an elder Brother, and many siblings. That isn’t just good doctrine, it’s life-changing truth. Paul says it should be reflected in the way we treat others.
But it is not just our relationship with other Christians; Paul stresses the importance of right relationships with those outside the church as well. The way we live can either make the gospel seem wonderfully attractive or outright ugly. How we treat others communicates something about the Good News that we believe. Paul uses this passage to especially emphasize our relationship to those with authority over us like an employer. Most of us spend more time at our workplace than anywhere else during the week. What are we communicating about the gospel through our relationships at work?
Relationships matter. So, we want our relationships to be intentional. Here are some practical ways to live out the gospel with fellow Christians and co-workers. Maybe you’ll do one, none, or all of the below. Regardless, I hope these examples serve as food for thought in being more intentional in your relationships.
Relating to Christians as Family
- Invest your life into (disciple) a younger Christian by spending time with them, sharing your faith and learning about their life
- Call, email, or meet up with someone that you know has been going through a tough season in life
- Make it a point to share a meal often with others in your GCM
- Offer to babysit for a couple in need of a night out
- Leave a favorite food of someone else in your GCM on their front porch. Keep it anonymous; sign it: “From Your GCM Family”
- Pray for others, by name, regularly
Relating to Co-Workers with Honor
- Instead of eating lunch alone, intentionally eat with other co-workers and learn their story
- Make it a daily priority to speak or write encouragement when someone does good work
- Bring breakfast (donuts, coffee, etc.) once a month for everyone in your department
- Create a regular time to go out with co-workers for drinks
- Make a list of your co-workers birthdays and find a way to bless everyone on their birthday (this doesn’t have to be expensive)
- Make every effort to avoid gossip in the office
- Ask someone who others typically ignore if you can grab them a soda/coffee while you’re out
- Lead the charge in organizing others to help co-workers in need