2 corinthians 12, simplifying relationships, titus 2

Simplifying Relationships…

2 Corinthians 12:12-31 says:
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,  and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,  so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?  Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?  Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
2 Corinthians 12:12-31

Simplifying relationships is not something I have written about before, but something on my mind this week.  How too often relationships can get really complicated, and usually there is one root cause- pride.

I love this passage above from 2 Corinthians chapter 12. I read it to the kids this week and we talked about not how this not only applies to the church, but in our families as well. Actually, it applies to all relationships in this world that are of God.

I love the analogy of the body parts relying on each other and working together.  So often, pride gets in the way of relationships and it can hurt deep. Really, really deep.

But when we are in relationships in a godly manner, whether it be friendship, church, or family we are all working together…“for the good of the group”~as we like to say in my family.

When we see each other not as competition, but as separate parts that work together, lifting each other up, cheering each other on…all for greater purpose. God’s purpose!

So often the kids argue over who goes first, or who is entitled to something. I remind them that we are working for the good of the family, and not for ourselves.

We also need to remember that we are all created uniquely with different gifts and talents. We are not to compare with each other, but see each other for the strengths {and weaknesses} God has given us, and work together.  This is especially so important in homeschooling groups. 

We must not compare to each other. We must simplify all of the “clutter” that gets in the way of fulfilling those relationships to their true potential. Lifting up each other, listening without a judgmental ear, and giving grace.  Supporting each other and not looking at what others are doing and internalizing it on ourselves. Rejoice for your fellow sister homeschooler that is succeeding, and pray with those who are struggling.

Don’t be afraid to share your struggle. How often we are hiding it if we don’t want anyone to know we don’t have it all together.

Be transparent. Be authentic.  Be real. 

We need not secretly want to see someone stumble, for it makes us feel better about ourselves. No. We are to cheer them on, lift them up, and share in their sorrow.

Seeking compassion, meekness, and humility should be our motives in relationship. 

We must see the overall picture of how strong we are working together and not for ourselves, or even worse, against each other.

I cherish friendships that live out this picture. There is no comparing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, but recognizing our duty as a body to work together.

Simplifying our mental clutter can be achieved much more easily if we let go of the sin of pride, and truly take second place to others. Knowing any reward that we will gain for ourselves will be given by Him and Him alone.

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15-17

For more about simplifying “mental clutter” check out my free eBook

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