Shining Light in Dark Relationships

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:13-18).

We took the space to include this entire passage from James. Every phrase carries deep meaning. First we learn the source of division: our own sin and demonic influences. Next we learn the symptoms of sin and demonic activity: jealousy and selfish ambition. Finally God shows us the qualities of spiritual wisdom: mercy, gentleness, and sincerity.

Our generation finds it nearly impossible to sustain relationships for prolonged periods of time. We get offended easily, fight back and then sever friendships. The passage above reveals who is behind all of this.

Christians need to model Christ in all of their relationships. We have family relationships as well as business and social. A close study of the life of Jesus reveals He treated all with respect and dignity. We need to do likewise. The world continues to self-destruct amid contentious relationships.

Let’s apply this.

1. Begin at home.
Strive to set positive communication and acts of kindness in the home. Speak with grace and positive reinforcement, and home will soon be a happier place.

2. Shine your light in this world.
Though the world grows ever so dim, brighten it up with a Christ-like light that beams love, hope and joy in a joyless world.

3. Do not retaliate.
Jesus commanded us to model opposite behavior than the world (Matthew 5:43-48), as did the apostles (see Romans 12:14-21; 1 Peter 4:14-16). Paul wrote, “When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure” (1 Corinthians 4:12).

Jesus commanded us to shine our light in this world. Ask God to show you ways to do that, and go forth to be a blessing to others.

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