Does our faith make a difference in our lives? Does our belief in Christ make a difference in the way we live our lives? Is there any difference in your relationships after accepting Jesus as your Saviour than before?
If our faith makes no difference in our relationships, then what good is our faith? The most important aspect of our lives are our relationships with others. How we treat our spouse, children, friends, employees, employers, and others makes a huge difference on the influence we will have on them for Christ!
James talks about how our faith should make a huge difference in our lives.
James 2:14–26 ESV “2:14 ¶ What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
2:15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,
2:16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
2:17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
2:18 ¶ But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
2:20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?
2:21 Was not.Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?
2:22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;
2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.
2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
2:25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”
Our faith must make a difference in our lives, even in our relationships. Paul addresses this in the next several verses of his letter to the church at Colossae.
Relationship between husband and wife
Colossians 3:18–19 ESV “3:18 ¶ Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”
One of the first things you must realize is these two verses go together. You cannot separate the two because it deals in the most intimate relationship between two souls: marriage is when two becomes one.
Genesis 2:24 ESV “¶ Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
They are both individuals yet they become one. It does not mean the wife loses her identity in the husband or the husband lose his identity in the wife. They remain who they are but they are joined together in an intimate, close relationship where the two become one.
Paul gives instructions to the Christian wife and husband.
The wife is to submit to the authority of her husband as the head of the marriage and family.
Ephesians 5:22–25 ESV “5:22 ¶ Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
5:25 ¶ Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,”
Word submit means to be under the authority of, subject to. The wife is to be obedient to her husband as the authority in the family. God established the different roles and order for the family to function properly in peace and harmony.
This does not mean the wife is to be obedient regardless of what her husband says. She is first to be obedient to the Lord and if the husband directs in something that is wrong or sinful, then she must obey the Lord. The husband has no right require anything wrong, sinful, or contrary to the will of God.
Each one has a beautiful part in the marriage. Each one should celebrate the others part in the relationship and treat one another in love, care, and respect.
Husband must love his wife as Christ loved the church. In simpler terms, the husband should love his wife so much that he is willing to give his life for her safety and protection.
“Do not be harsh with them” – means to honor, love, cherish, respect, and uphold the wife. Word ‘harsh’ means to be resentful or bitter. Do not be bitter toward your wife, but love and cherish her.
When husband and wife love the Lord and love one another, it is a beautiful relationship like no other. It is a picture of Christ and the church.
Your faith in Christ must influence your marriage. You are to treat your spouse with love, respect, and care.
Relationship between children and parents
Colossians 3:20 ESV “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
Children is referring to the minor children who are still living in their parent’s home. Children are to learn to be obedient to their parents for this is pleasing with the Lord.
Ephesians 6:1–4 ESV “6:1 ¶ Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
6:2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),
6:3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Children are to learn obedience from their parents so they will learn to obey the Lord. If a child will not obey its parents, he or she will not obey those in authority when they get older.
Now, once a child leaves home and becomes an adult, he or she is no longer under the authority of the parents. They have established their own home. They should show respect for their parents but they must make their own decisions in life.
Relationship between fathers and children
Colossians 3:21 ESV “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”
Provoke means to stimulate unto anger. Provoking would be a father who is constantly discouraging, accusing, finding fault, and so forth with his child that the child loses spirit to strive to please the parents. This constant barrage of negative comments will destroy the spirit of the child so the child loses hope and encouragement.
When I coached baseball, I saw this often in parents who would berate their child by constantly telling them that they were no good at anything they did. The poor child only heard what it could not do and never any encouragement or love.
Love your children – encourage them – praise them when they do something right – correct them when they do something wrong.
When they fail, teach them how to succeed. Teach them how to finish. Teach them how to do a good and praise them when they do.
Do not destroy the spirit of your child, but encourage them.
Relationship between employees and employers
Colossians 3:22–25 ESV “3:22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
3:25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.”
As Christian employees, we are to do a good job because we are doing it for the Lord. We are to give our best not to please a person but to please the Lord.
A good friend of mine got into a lot of trouble with his boss for reading his Bible while working. My friend told me he was being persecuted for his faith but he was not because he could not do the job he was being paid to do while reading his Bible.
Notice verse 23 – whatever you do, do it heartily for the Lord.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV “¶ So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Verse 24 – you are serving the Lord is how you do your job. When you do it for the Lord, you will do your job whether the employer is there or not because you are serving the Lord.
A good friend of mine, Jimmy Scarbough (he is home with the Lord) worked in this manner. You did not have to worry if he would work if you were not around. He loved the Lord and he worked in a manner pleasing to the Lord. He started on time, finished on time, and worked regardless of who was around or not. He had a tremendous testimony for Jesus Christ.
Relationship of employers to employees
Colossians 4:1 ESV “¶ Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.”
Employers are to treat their employees right because they will answer to the Lord one day. They are to treat them just and fair. Fair day wages for a fair days work and if you hold back or defraud them of their wages, God will hold you accountable.
Proverbs 11:1 ESV “¶ A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.”
James 5:1–6 ESV “5:1 ¶ Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.
5:2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.
5:3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.
5:4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
5:5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
5:6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.”
Leviticus 19:13 ESV “¶ “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning.”
Deuteronomy 24:14–15 ESV “24:14 ¶ “You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns.
24:15 You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin.”
Your faith in Christ must have a profound influence on how you treat others. You must treat them right knowing that one day you will stand before God and give an account of how you treated your spouse, children, parents, friends, employees, employers, and so forth.