If I were to ask you what is the best way to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ, what would you say? Spending time in the Word? Prayer? Worship?
Of course, all of these things are crucial to maturing as a Christ follower, and they should not be neglected. But there is one element of the Christian life that often gets overlooked.
In Colossians 2:19 Paul urges the church at Colossae to be careful to hold on tight to Jesus, the Head of the Church, “from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.”
What an amazing statement. Think of it: Christ, the Head, nourishes, knits together and causes the growth of the body through the joints and ligaments. A joint is the place in the human body where two parts are fitted together. We would not be much of a body without our joints. We would be a lumpy mess! Paul uses an anatomy lesson to help us see the purpose of God is to make us healthy and cause us to grow through our relationships with those around us.
Proverbs 27:17 instructs us that “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
That means the people around us – those we get along with and enjoy being around us, as well as those who we see as ‘difficult’ – are the instruments of growth in our lives. And we are also instruments of growth in their lives.
Keeping relationships healthy requires humility and brokenness. Christian virtues are daily worked out in our lives through our relationships with our family, church members, co-workers and others. It is here we learn how to love, how to look to the needs of others, and how to be sensitive to the working of the Spirit through others to us and through us to others.
This is especially important for us at Trinity Community Church as we launch new House Churches and experience the growth that God will send our way.
Let’s ask God to adjust our minds so that we value relationships as He does. Don’t take the relationships God has given you for granted. Take some time to think deeply and pray over this verse in Colossians. Daily thank God for those he has joined you with and be aware that he is bringing about health and growth through these relationships.
The Body of Christ may well be God’s most brilliant creation!