And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord ..... For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her. Ephesians 5:22, 25
Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first. Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord. Romans 12:10-11
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:1-4
The story goes that there were two mountain goats traveling in opposite directions on a mountain path that for a significant length ran along a narrow ledge. And it was on that ledge that the two mountain goat met standing face to face with each other. On the back side of the ledge was a sheer wall of rock that rose hundreds of feet above the ledge. On the front side of the ledge was a precipice that dropped thousands of feet to the canyon below. The two goats were at an impasse because there was neither room enough to pass each other nor room enough to get out of the way of each other (backing up or turning around were not possible either).
Let's pause in our story for a moment and think about ourselves as human beings. We are in the middle of a sermon series that is exploring our need for having a "hope" that gives us the confidence that our entire life can be what it was meant to be. This week is about relationships. Today we seek to focus on an understanding that is absolutely vital if we are to have any hope at all that our relationships can be all they were meant to be. Often two people in a relationship with each other come to an impasse like the mountain goats in our story. So back to the mountain goats - they have a solution for their impasse that they are willing to utilize. It is a solution that people all too often could untilize but don't. If the mountain goats were to act like people often do, they would stand nose to nose waiting it out or butt heads until one would go over the edge to destruction and the other would go on its way. But the mountain goats are not like people and they do something entirely different. One of them lies down and lets the other walk over them. The result is that both mountain goats go safely on their way.
The wrong response to the impasses we face in relationships are incredibly destructive. Read through the verses above again and look for the phrases that correspond to the solution of the mountain goats. In a relationship it is not so much about who will yield first but are they willing to yield and have they made the commitment to pursue a course the makes yielding the top priority of the relationship.
Lord, thank you for this understanding. Help me to embrace it for myself in a more complete way than ever before. I recognize that if I am going to live this way in my relationships, I will need Divine intervention. So, I ask you to intervene in my life so that I truly become one who is able to lay down my life for others no matter what.
Posted on Thu, April 23, 2015
by Alan Porter