Today I taught Sunday School and remarkably, while I was teaching, the Holy Spirit duplicated the lessons for me. Just so you know what I’m talking about, I’ll give you a quick example. During the craft I had to briefly suspend work to explain that each child at the table was responsible for their own behavior not the person sitting next to them, and they did not have to point out “bad” behavior. The children are learning our expectations for civility and order as we work together. We go over this a lot.
During the ebb and flow of lessons and application with the children (mostly trial and error) I realize God’s experience with his children (us) is probably very similar. How many times does he repeat himself, as we flail around not quite getting the application correct? Yet He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. Therefore, He keeps teaching points we just don’t get.
Interpersonal relationships are difficult. It is so easy to see the faults of the person next to us at the craft table while we are blind to our own. How many sermons have we heard about removing the log from our eye before going after the speck in our brother’s eye? (Matthew 7:3) We are warned in Galatians 5:15 if we are quick to critique others, making biting comments, we are in danger of devouring one another.
There is a lot of direction in God’s Word about our encounters with other people to keep us on track. We focused on this verse in Sunday School: “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35 )
I must tell you our Sunday School is a little challenging because we are a small church, so we don’t have teachers for each age group. Instead, we teach family style and the ages of our children this Sunday ranged from 3 years old to 11 years old.
But discord is not a childish endeavor as I mentioned before. After church, my husband watched a playoff game and I observed again how difficult it can be to “do what is right.” One of the football players received a penalty for taunting and as the referee announced the call the player pushed forward in his defense stating “He kicked me! He kicked me!”
We are not to quit meeting together because it is only when we do that we fail. No longer are we in a position to put into practice all the Scriptural instruction on personal interactions. And without interaction there are no tests to determine how we are doing. And so, we forge on… We work on being humble, gentle, and patient, bearing with one another in love (Eph. 4:2) We count others more significant (Phil 2:3). We aren’t prideful or wise in our own sight (Romans 12:16).
Interpersonal relationships can be difficult. But I am grateful for God’s patience and vow to persevere. Both for my growth and the growth of the children in the Sunday School. Let’s see how it goes the next time we gather at the craft table.
Contemplate Your Ways:
1-Are you currently struggling in any of your relationships? Perhaps there is an issue with a sibling, friend, or your spouse. If so, share what Scriptures you have found for direction.
2-What types of behavior do you struggle with that has the potential of disrupting unity? Here are a few examples: Talking about others in unflattering terms. Criticizing other people’s ministries. Complaining that you are the only one doing the work. Pointing out perceived faults in others.