Growth by working with others

In any church, you will rub against people you don’t get on so well with. There are always people whose personalities we gel with better than others. I’m not talking about people who sin against you (though that will happen), I just mean people will naturally gravitate to certain other people and may find others rub them up the wrong way.

The world’s answer to such situations is to cut such people out. If you don’t click with someone, then forget about them. If you don’t like them so much, just avoid them. If you feel someone just isn’t your cup of tea, you don’t have to have anything to do with them. Just keep out their way and leave them to get on with being themselves, somewhere far far away from you.

But in the church we cannot do that. We shouldn’t do that. We have to love our brothers and sisters. How can we say we love God but hate our brother or sister? John’s answer is that we can’t. But even if we don’t hate them, we just don’t get on with them, we can’t easily do any of the one another things Jesus commands us to do from a distance. We can’t just avoid them forever because we can’t do most of the things Jesus asks of us if we aren’t in some form of relationship with them.

The same is true when you come to work together in the church too. The Biblical solution to people you don’t naturally click with is not to avoid them and have nothing to do with them. It isn’t to allow your feelings to fester and annoyances to grow. The answer is to find a way to work with them. You must find a means of partnering with them for the sake of Christ.

If you are a pastor, or an elder, you have to do love the flock the Lord Jesus has given you. You have to serve people, whether you get on naturally with them or not. You have to work alongside people whether you feel naturally able to work alongside people or not. You are called to love people and your natural inclination towards their personality or whatever is neither here nor there. You are to love and serve them as Christ has loved and served you.

One of the reasons for this is that we grow as we work alongside people. We have to find a way to work with people and figuring out how we will do that with people we don’t naturally gel with is one of the means the Lord uses to help us grow. We learn a great deal about ourselves when we rub up against people who think, live, work and act differently to us. We often learn, not just how annoying other people are, but why they might find us difficult and annoying. Sometimes they might well have a point and often we have to find a way to work through it. If we can’t, we are going to struggle in the church because Jesus tells us, ultimately, we must.