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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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The Wisdom of Right Relationships

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Staff

By Charles Stanley

 

Hebrews 10:23-24

 

The subject of positive relationships is near to my heart because God has provided me with such good friends. These are the people who challenge me to do more for the Lord. My friends love me, but they certainly aren’t content to let me stay as I am! If they spot a sin in my life or see something I could do better, they say so.

 

Paul gave relationships a high priority too. The apostle surrounded himself with people who could help him achieve two things: fulfillment of his God-given mission and conformity to Christlikeness. While Paul was pouring himself into the lives of others, he was being built up and strengthened by his fellow believers. That, in brief, is the Lord’s plan for every one of His children.

 

What about you? Do you have certain relationships that motivate you to pursue God more fervently? It does matter whom we allow to influence our lives. The Father equips your brothers and sisters to invest in you-to encourage you, to pray for you, and to prod you toward a more complete faith-so that you are prepared to devote yourself to serving others. Good relationships with people who build each other up can help believers fulfill God’s plan for their lives.

 

The finest relationships are between people who want to see each other succeed in faith and therefore “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24, niv). In other words, our best friends are those who love us as we are but never cease to challenge us to be better for the Lord.

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