Scripture Reading — Philippians 2:1-11
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. — Ephesians 5:21
Our relationships change and become more complicated as we grow. We start out as children with parents and (probably) siblings and cousins. Then, as time goes on, friends, neighbors, coworkers, spouses, in-laws, and more come into the picture.
As relationships change, we need time to adjust to new roles. It is not always easy to look up to a new boss who used to be your peer, nor for a newlywed to appreciate the close bond that his or her spouse may have with family.
Paul says, “In your relationships with one another, you should have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Christ gave up his glory in heaven and humbled himself to become a human being like us. As a result, we have a Savior “who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin”; therefore Christ can “empathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). Since he understands how we feel in different relationships, we can approach the Lord “with confidence” to “receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
For a relationship to work, both parties need to follow Jesus’ example of standing in the other’s shoes. Are we willing to humble ourselves and submit to others “out of reverence for Christ”?
Father, help us to follow Christ’s example in building healthy relationships. Lord, be our mediator and give us extra patience when relationships get tense. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.