The First Move

‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39 NIV

Two of the most famous ‘marriage advice’ type of verses can shed some real light on how all relationships, not just the relationship between husband and wife, can work better: ‘Be considerate’ (1 Peter 3:7 NIV) and ‘Be worthy of respect.’ (1 Timothy 3:11 NIV)

In any kind of relationship, it’s about growing an environment where the relationship works to help both people become better people, and draw closer to God. And to build that kind of environment means giving a lot of encouragement and support. Not only when we feel like it, but also when we don’t feel like it. Jesus’ commandment to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ sums it up perfectly.

It means asking God to soften our sharp edges, and provide us with the strength, patience, and opportunities to show His love to those around us. Want to work out a difficult relationship, make long-lasting friendships or even just feel loved? Make the first move. When we’re prayerfully proactive in a relationship, and willing to drop our own petty disagreements or dislikes for the sake of blessing someone, God will add to it. That doesn’t mean we should let ourselves be walked over by someone who isn’t willing to show love back. Sometimes, there’s reason to find the way out of a relationship (and if you do feel as though you need to get out, then listen to yourself, you know your situation best), but a few steps before that, it’s worth considering if you can bless the other person in some way.

Next time you have a disagreement with someone over something petty, make the effort to be the first one to let it go and apologise.

SoulFood: Gen 14:18, Ps 110 Heb 5:5–11

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2022

Today’s Readings

Genesis 14:18

18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)

Psalm 110

A Psalm of David.

110:1   The LORD says to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand,
  until I make your enemies your footstool.”
  The LORD sends forth from Zion
    your mighty scepter.
    Rule in the midst of your enemies!
  Your people will offer themselves freely
    on the day of your power,
    in holy garments;
  from the womb of the morning,
    the dew of your youth will be yours.
  The LORD has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
  “You are a priest forever
    after the order of Melchizedek.”
  The Lord is at your right hand;
    he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
  He will execute judgment among the nations,
    filling them with corpses;
  he will shatter chiefs
    over the wide earth.
  He will drink from the brook by the way;
    therefore he will lift up his head.

Hebrews 5:5–11

So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,

  “You are my Son,
    today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,

  “You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

Sun 28 November, 2021


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