Saturday, February 7, 2009

From Vertical to Horizontal

I am currently teaching an Adult Elective class at Bethel based upon the book The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. I have taught this class many times and it has become perhaps my favorite material to teach. I love it because it is extremely Biblical and practical, two things I value greatly. (In actuality, the Bible is always practical, we just have a hard time applying it in most cases!)

However, this time around I am learning a significant Biblical truth in a much greater way -- the truth that the way that I am called to treat others is based upon how God has treated me. For example, I am called to be kind to others because God has been kind to me (Eph. 4:32). I am to be forgiving to others because God has forgiven me (Col. 3:13; Eph. 4:32). I am called to be compassionate and gracious because God is compassionate and gracious to me. (Psalm 103:8).

John Piper, in his latest book, This Momentary Marriage, describes this as taking what God has done for us vertically and bending it out horizontally to one another.

Through my study of both The Peacemaker and This Momentary Marriage, I have come to see that just like everything else, this all goes back to the Gospel. My relationships with people -- my wife, my children, co-workers, neighbors, etc. should reflect the truth of what God did for me through the Cross. And the greater I understand and appreciate the Gospel, the greater my ability to live it out in my horizontal relationships every day.

Praying for the ability to treat others as God has treated me!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris,
    I, too, am fond of The Peacemaker. In my master's studies at Trinity Seminary and Bible College, I have had four conflict management classes that have really turned my life around.

    I look forward to your posts and growing more in Christ! Blessings to you and your family!




About Me

I am a husband to Eva, father of 4, pastor, and most of all passionate follower of Jesus Christ. The focus of my life is to make the most of every opportunity God gives me to bring glory to Him. Outside of the time spent in my role as a pastor, I spend most of my time with my family -- a good deal of that coaching various sports teams that my children are involved with. Every fall and winter you will find me rushing to the woods of Indiana and West Virginia in search of a monster whitetail buck.