How to Get Along with Other Questions

Friday: Surrendering Yourself

In this week’s lessons, we learn how to maintain unity with other believers.
Surrendering Yourself

Yesterday, we concluded by saying that Christians are to show reasonableness, which brings a warning not to be unduly rigorous over unimportant matters.

Now you understand me, of course, when I say that it does not mean that Christians are to be compromising in their doctrinal beliefs. Paul was not talking about doctrine here, any more than he was talking about doctrine when he referred to the mind of Christ in verse 2. He was not talking about compromising with the world’s standards of conduct, either. He had already written that Christians should live as “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15). And he wrote to the Roman Christians that they were not to be “conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2). It’s not this that he’s dealing with.

Actually, what Paul was trying to say is that those who profess the name of Christ should be a bit bending in their conduct, especially where other Christians are concerned. They should not be brittle. You see, we are not to have a personality so inflexible that people bounce off it like a tennis ball bouncing off a stone wall. We’re to listen to people, even to tolerate their errors for a time, if you will, in order that God in His time might use us better to encourage them in their walk with the Lord. 

This should be especially applicable in Christian families. Often children rebel against their parents; and they do so many times, I believe, simply because the parents have been too rigid and too doctrinaire in their training. Here too, you see, there must be moderation. We’re dealing with people, not formulas. And it must be an aspect of that yieldingness with one another to which Christians are called. 

None of these high standards of conduct is easy—to be humble, to work with someone who is difficult, to be filled with joy, to be reasonable. And let’s admit it, the difficulty of living them is where the problem of unity lies. It’s one thing to say to each other, “Well, let’s be of the same mind and work together. Let’s rejoice. Let’s show moderation.” But it is quite another thing to put the words into practice. Fortunately, Paul also knew the difficulty. So as a result, he gave us the solution even to this problem. 

Have you ever noticed how many times he speaks of being “in the Lord Jesus Christ” in the first four verses of this chapter? Three times! And once he reminds the Philippians that “the Lord is at hand.” The solution is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is He who will do in the lives of yielded Christians what they might judge impossible. You can learn to get along with other Christians only as you surrender yourself to Christ and seek His will, as His Holy Spirit enters your life and begins to make you into the man or woman that he would have you be. 

Study Questions
  1. What are some areas where it is appropriate not to be rigid in how believers regard or treat other Christians?
  2. How are we able to put these standards into practice? How do you surrender yourself for this purpose?

Reflection: What are some ways in which Christians need to guard against being conformed to the world?

Key Point: You can learn to get along with other Christians only as you surrender yourself to Christ and seek His will, as His Holy Spirit enters your life and begins to make you into the man or woman that he would have you be.

For Further Study: Download for free and listen to Irfon Hughes’ message, “The Fellowship of the Saints.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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