12 Brothers and sisters, here is what I want you to know. What has happened to me has actually helped to spread the good news. 13 One thing has become clear. I am being held by chains because I am a witness for Christ. All the palace guards and everyone else know it. 14 And because I am a prisoner, most of the believers have become bolder in the Lord. They now dare even more to preach the good news without fear. 15 It’s true that some preach about Christ because they are jealous. But others preach about Christ to help me in my work. 16 The last group acts out of love. They know I have been put here to be a witness for the good news. 17 But the others preach about Christ only to get ahead. They preach Christ for the wrong reasons. They think they can stir up trouble for me while I am being held by chains. 18 But what does it matter? Here is the important thing. Whether for right or wrong reasons, Christ is being preached about. That makes me very glad. And I will continue to be glad.
To help two people come together and resolve their differences, as Paul the apostle does for Onesimus and his master, can be a huge challenge, but it is something that I am striving to improve in my ability to do.
If each of us took steps to ensure the relational health of those around us was upheld, I wonder if the world would he a better place.
Relational health isn’t really something that gets talked about much. Sure, people who are psychologically and emotionally healthy will generally be better in relationships, but if I just look after myself, it will certainly not guarantee that I will automatically relate well to others. It is a skill I need to learn, and one where the support of others can help me do well.
Thank you Lord that you have made us to be relational and to live in relationship with you and with people. Help us to care for one another so that relational health can be developed across our community to make the world a better place.
Written by Ps. Justin Ware