Introduction: Everyone has relationship issues. The best passage in the Bible for dealing with these is arguably the second chapter of the book of Philippians. This chapter has three paragraphs that tell us exactly what to do.
1. We need the Right Minds (Philippians 2:1-11)
- An Exhortation (v. 1-5): Since we have encouragement from Christ, comfort from His love, fellowship with His Spirit, and since we have His realities of tenderness and compassion, we should be “like-minded.” That doesn’t mean we should have uniformity of opinion on everything, but that we should have an agreeable, cooperative spirit.
- An Example (v. 6-11): Our great example of this is Christ. Let this mind (attitude) be in you which also is in Christ. Verses 6-11 is a poem or hymn, probably composed by Paul, that covers the pre-existence, incarnation, crucifixion, ascension, and glorification of Christ. It’s designed to show us that if Jesus could humble Himself as He did, we should be willing to do the same.
2. We Need the Right Manners (Philippians 2:12-18): We must let our salvation work its way out in daily practice, doing things without complaining or arguing. If people have to walk on eggshells around us for fear of provoking us, or if we have a history of broken friendships, or if we’re difficult and demanding with others, or if we become embittered with someone—it’s a lack of Christlikeness. It’s God who gives us the desire and the ability to be cooperative and agreeable with others.
3. We Need the Right Models (Philippians 2:19-30): The final paragraph in this chapter gives us two models who demonstrated relational maturity by their lives.
- Timothy (v. 19-24)
- Epaphroditus (v. 25-30)
Conclusion: It’s a shame when our relationships break down. We can minimize that and repair many of our relationships (in marriages, families, homes, churches, friendships, and denominations) by having the right mind, exercising the right manners, and emulating the right models.