The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to “come alongside” us as a Comforter, Helper, and Advocate. He protects us, guides us into all truth, ministers to us, and gives gift(s) to each of us. He is also “with us” to empower us to make decisions to live like Jesus did (or would). The Greek word for “spirit” and “wind” is similar in the New Testament. Our responsibility is to respond to the Spirit’s activity within us, to “catch the wind” of His leading and guidance or “follow the wind.”
One example is the development of healthy, committed relationships. The New Testament is full of “one another” statements that describe the new quality of relationship Jesus modeled and calls us to imitate: Love one another, care for one another, serve one another, etc.
Consider the following six ingredients of building healthy, interdependent relationships as a framework to build into your life and faith practice.
Acceptance of one another, based on 1 Timothy 1:15-16: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” Jesus forgave us, so we should extend love, acceptance, and forgiveness to others.
Being devoted to one another, based on Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Pray for one another, based on Matthew 18:19: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
Encouragement and affirmation, based on Hebrews 3:13: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Confess your sins to one another, based on James 5:16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” We confess to God for forgiveness, and to one another for healing.
Mutual submission and accountability, based on Ephesians 5:21: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” and Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
These six ingredients are the kind of attitudes and actions expected of Christ-followers. The Holy Spirit guides and empowers us to become people who live up to those characteristics. He sets up circumstances for us to reflect the character of Christ by choosing to cooperate with Him. We need to yield to the Spirit (and Scripture) and practice these ingredients in our lives.
When Lazarus was brought back to life in John 11. Jesus said to his friends to “take off the grave clothes” and Lazarus was able to enjoy his “new life.” Live communally. Each of us is critical to one another as we seek to become more like our Master. We need one another to help us learn the Word of God, love the Word, and live the Word. Catch the Spirit’s wind, and follow it.
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz