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Two Keys To Good Relationships

Romans 1:11 - 12 and Romans 15:7

Respect ---- Romans 1:11-12 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine.

Accept ---- Romans 15:7

7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

No one is an island, everyone needs relationships, but they can be challenging. Two biblical attitudes provide a solid foundation for any and every relationship.

Remember, attitudes aren’t things you do or say, but how you do or say them. For instance, you’ve had someone give you great compliments regarding something you’ve done, but you can feel the insincerity or even sarcasm in their tone of voice or body language and their attitude belied the flattery. It’s very important to be true to your word as you build relationships.

Paul didn’t lecture about respect, he just casually expressed it in describing his expectations in being with the believing Romans. He hoped that he could impart a spiritual gift to them that would encourage their faith, but he looked for their faith to come to him as a gift as well. His emphasis on mutual encouragement meant that he saw them as piers rather than subordinates. “Your faith is just as important as mine, I will be just as encouraged by you as you will by me.” He could have touted his vast experience in ministry leadership and teaching and been arrogant, but he didn’t.

The second relationship-building attitude is acceptance. Is there any feeling you value more than being accepted by someone? When you know you are accepted by a friend and not judged, you want to be the best possible friend with such a person. You realize you can blow it with this one and you won’t be mocked or condemned. Notice the level of acceptance --- just as Christ accepted us to the glory of God. Christ accepts us unconditionally because He knows what He is going to do in our lives.

We can be hopeful the same way knowing God will accomplish great things in all of our lives. Thus, to His glory we take a person where they are and encourage them in what they are becoming.

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