Christian Relationships

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

Sometimes it is simple to get along well with others. Sometimes it just all falls into place. In those times, we typically feel like we have accomplished something—and we certainly have. In those times we are in the process of living and being what God intends us to live and be. This is not to say that “getting along well” is the be-all and end-all of our lives as Christian people—far from it. Rather, it is to say that in such times we are far more prone to reflect to others what it is that God has placed in us. And what has been placed in us through the Spirit is the abiding love of Jesus Christ.

But Peter is calling us to do far more than simply get along. In the text above, Peter uses some pretty strong language. He mentions five separate-but-related behaviors that we as Christians should practice. Interestingly, each of the five is an adjective! As we know, adjectives are words that are used to describe nouns. It is imperative to note that in this text, the “noun” that is being described is US! Or, at least, it is the “us” that God is shaping us to be. We are to be in unity of mind, we are to be sympathetic, we are to love one another, we are to be tenderhearted, and we are to be humble in our minds. These are intended to be qualities and practices that each of us develops through Jesus Christ.

It is quite a challenge to be such a person as Peter describes. We should be thankful, therefore, that we have the Holy Spirit to guide us. Without that Spirit, these powerful adjectives could never apply to us. Praise be to God for his transforming power!

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