You Can’t Be A Family When You Don’t Communicate
By: Brian A. Yeager
God’s people are supposed to be a spiritual family (Ephesians 3:15). Jesus considers those whom obey His Father’s will as part of His family (Matthew 12:46-50 and Hebrews 2:9-12). He tells us that His Father is our Father (John 20:17). Scripturally, we call one another brothers and sisters in Christ (Acts 11:29, Acts 15:36, Romans 15:14, Romans 16:1, I Corinthians 16:20, and I Timothy 5:1-2). Jesus sees how we treat one another and considers such treatment of His brethren as something we’ve done to Him (Matthew 25:34-40 and I Corinthians 8:12). Clearly, there is supposed to be a family atmosphere within the body of Christ.
As a spiritual family, we’re supposed to be looking out for one another’s well being. This is true in both spiritual and physical ways. Spiritually, we’re supposed to be making sure that each of us is pleasing to God (Galatians 6:1-2). If an error occurs in the life of one of us, we’re supposed to help that person make it right in God’s eyes (Matthew 18:15-17, Luke 17:3-4, and James 5:19-20). Along with making sure we’re watching out for sin in the lives of one another, we’re also supposed to be building up and comforting one another (I Thessalonians 5:11).
While our spiritual responsibilities toward one another are certainly the most important things we do for each other, we’re also supposed to care for our physical needs as well. When we see that one of our brothers or sisters in Christ has a physical need, we’re supposed to help them with that need (Romans 15:25-27, James 2:14-17, and I John 3:16-18).
When we read the certain responsibilities we have one toward another, how do you think such can be fulfilled if we do not communicate with each other? How can one of us know that another has a problem if we do not know one another? Seemingly, some so-called brethren must feel that we’re supposed to only know each other on Sundays. Brethren, the commands of our Lord that we’ve briefly addressed thus far cannot be fulfilled without communication. Families aren’t acting as families should when we have secret lives.
We Have To Communicate!
Notice, from the following Scriptures, how important it is to know what is going on with our brethren: “But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts… But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly… All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here… But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you… For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth” (Ephesians 6:21-22, Philippians 2:19-24, Colossians 4:7-9, I Thessalonians 3:6, and III John 3).
In the Scriptures you just read you should have noticed how important it was to share information between brethren regarding how each other were doing. Messengers were sent both to report and gather information concerning the status of the saints. Even when great distances separated godly people, they still found a way to act like a family and communicate with each other. These Scriptures have revealed that we should know one another.
We Have To Know One Another
There are some brethren that I can look at and know whether things are right or wrong in their lives. Likewise, these same brethren can do so with me. We know each other well enough to read each other’s facial expressions. However, this is not true of all so-called brethren. There are some who are supposed to be our brethren that we really know very little about. The Scriptures reveal that we should know one another (Acts 20:18, Acts 26:4, Philippians 4:9, and I Thessalonians 1:5). We should be the kind of people that live and speak openly (John 18:20) so that others can see our conduct and learn from it (Matthew 5:14-16 and Philippians 2:14-16).
Getting to know one another shouldn’t occur just at times of need either. We should be communicating. We’re supposed to be doing things such as seeking godly counsel from each other about things (Proverbs 1:5, Proverbs 12:15, and Proverbs 24:6). Our communication should be much more often than just Sunday mornings (Hebrews 3:13). Here in El Paso, there are several of us who try to do things together as often as possible. Then, there are those who rarely (if ever) make any attempt to talk with or spend time with brethren.
How can we help each other up, if one of us falls, if you are never around to see the fall (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)? How can you comfort or support a brother or sister in difficult times if you never know when those times are (I Thessalonians 5:14)? Yes, some of these things can occur when we assemble together (Hebrews 10:23-25). However, as we can clearly see in the Scriptures, our lives together must be shared more than just on the first day of the week (Acts 2:42-46).
Sadly, it will often be the brethren who are already doing these things that will try hard to make greater efforts after lessons such as these are taught. Communication is a two-way street. Let us all live open lives so that we can really know and help one another (cf. II Timothy 3:10).
Volume 12 – Issue 45 - July 29th, 2012