Relationships: How We Treat Others (pt 6)


It is imperative that as believers we learn to celebrate each other’s gifts and to promote one another above ourselves. Jesus has a very interesting statement on the way that we view each other’s giftings in Matthew, “Whoever receives you receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward,” Matthew 10:40-42. Jesus draws a very interesting parallel here. He begins by asserting that the way we receive or accept or believe the Father is how we receive Him. This passage follows one in which Jesus is discussing His purpose here on the earth. In effect, this statement is saying, “Look, this is who I am and the mission I’m on. I am the Gift from God, and the way you receive that Gift is the way you receive God.” Then Jesus turns that same concept around and points it at our interactions with each other. He says that to receive a prophet because he is a prophet means receiving a prophet’s reward. In other words, if you bless and respect the gifting the person is walking in, you get to enter into the same rewards that person walks in. Likewise, the measure to which you receive someone (as a prophet or a righteous man) will determine the measure of reward that you get to enjoy, all the way down to a cup of cold water.

Paul actually refers to this same dynamic when talking about prophecy: On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation…the one who prophesies builds up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:3-4

Did you notice that? Paul says that prophecy is aimed at a person, but upbuilds the church. This is, in fact, Paul’s main thrust of this whole section of scripture about tongues and prophecy: prophecy benefits everyone present, whereas tongues only benefits those that can un- derstand. But how does prophecy upbuild the church if it’s only aimed at individual people? Paul lets us know a few verses later when he reveals the reason tongues isn’t upbuilding: Otherwise, if you gave thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 1 Corinthians 14:16 Paul says the reason tongues aren’t profitable is that people can’t say “Amen.” They can’t come into agreement because they don’t understand. With prophecy, because peo- ple understand, they can come into agreement. This corporate agreement unlocks corporate upbuilding. All are built up because all enter into the grace on the prophetic word whether it is directed at them or not. Furthermore, Peter tells us: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen,” 1 Peter 4:10-11.

Peter refers to using our gifts as stewarding God’s varied grace. I love this picture! God’s gifts on our lives are packets of grace that He ena- bles us to walk in. Now remember our discussion of revelation and how revelation gives us access. If God puts grace on our lives in the form of gifts, then we can actually be revelations to each other of who God is, and in that process we gain access to that same gifting the other person has access to. Let me give a specific example. Let’s say we have someone with a pastoral gifting in the church. Their heart is to love and compassionately walk people through the pain they carry with them in life. In addition to that, let’s add a prophetic person, someone whose passion is to hear the voice of God and experience what is happening in the spiritual realm. As these two interact, if they choose to recognize and bless each other’s gifting, then it is possible for the pastoral person to begin to get a revelation of God as the God who speaks to his people, and the prophetic person will begin to get a revelation of God as a compassionate Father. As they begin to see who God is through each other, they gain access to that grace to give it away, and we have a pastoral person with a prophetic person’s reward and a prophetic person with a pastoral person’s reward. This is brilliant and powerful because it means that as we learn to hold each other in right relationship and see God through each other, we get multiplicative impact. If we start with two people honoring and receiving each other, we get 2x2 = 4 total people-gift combinations. If we start with 10 we get 10x10 = 100!

Again, the issue of identity is paramount here. If we are not established in who we are and have not moved beyond the competitive nature of the orphan or poverty mentality, we’ll always have a struggle fully celebrating the gifts God has put in others. We’ll be struggling against the void we feel internally; our celebration of others will be contingent on them not threatening our own performance. Never forget we were all separated from our Heavenly Father because of a breach in relationships caused by the fall. Jesus Christ became the perfect Sacri- fice (Lamb of God) to redeem us for the purpose of restoration to The Father and to one another. Let’s love and admonish one another by demonstrating acts of kindness so the whole world will see that we are “The Children of God” (John 17: 22-24, 1John 3: 16-18).


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