Watching a favorite holiday movie reminded me of community and the American love of independence. But what does that independence spirit cost us?

One American value that does not help us in our disciplemaking is the idea of rugged individualism. How does God view His human creation and our reliance on one another?

You may have read my last post and said, “Wow, Doug, how in the world can you actually lead and make hard decisions, if you are reflecting Jesus!? In my world…”

I get it, but hear me out.

God’s desire for us to live in relationships whose unity reflects Him is not only for our benefit, but for the benefit of a world that desperately needs to see a different way of life…a way of life that displays abundance and relationships full of genuine love.

Many of us are thinking about New Year’s resolutions this time of year. When I think of a list of relational characteristics we can aspire to, there's one passage that reflects the heart of God as much as any other.

God is One. God exists in three persons. This is the mystery of what theologians have called the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I’d like to point out how this mind-bending theological truth is significant in our conversation on relationships.

Not a happy promise, but a promise none-the-less. Whoever, through division, party politics, and mean-spiritedness destroys the work of God’s people, God will destroy that person (1 Corinthians 3:16,17).

Early in the story, God’s plan took a devastating turn to the left. When sin entered the world, the most prevalent and consistent consequences we see in Scripture are the conflict, anger, rebellion, murder, strife, and division that repeatedly spring up.

Do you believe it? God’s first strategy for winning a world far from God is His people living in such a way that our love for one another reflects His image and character everywhere!

Why is it that we, in the Body of Christ, must put up with divisiveness and mean-spirited conflict between factions of the Church? What is it that allows some people to so freely express their beliefs in a way that ignores the admonitions we see by Jesus to love one another?