Saturday, July 15, 2006

Relationship Rules Worth Remembering

Years ago my dad gave me three principles that he required his church staff to follow. I have found these principles to be invaluable in keeping relationships healthy, both on our staff and in our church. I am convinced that if every one in the Southern Baptist Convention followed the following rules of relationships, 90% of the problems within our Convention would be resolved fairly quickly.

Principle (1). A Positive Spirit

No matter how difficult or dark things seem to be, I will always recognize that God is in control and that He has a purpose for the circumstances I am in, and as a result, I will maintain positive outlook on life.

It is amazing what a deep understanding of God's sovereignty will do for morale on a church staff.

Principle (2). A Servant's Heart

I will work my hardest and do my best to make sure that those around me look good and succeed in life, for I esteem and value others more than I do myself.

This type of selflessness prevents staff members designating "turf" and seeking to protect it.

Principle (3). A Loyal Spirit

I will neither give nor receive a negative word about you unless you are aware of that which is being said or heard by me.

Oh how I wish every Southern Baptist practiced this principle. It sure seems people find it easy to talk ABOUT people but never TO people.

Good food for thought this weekend.

In His Grace,



Anonymous said...


With a dad who obviously is GOD annointed, it is no wonder that your counsel is so right one. Blessed is the man who walks in the counsel of the GODLY.

Charlie of Gainesville

Bob Cleveland said...


Wise rules.

Jim Cymbala, pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle, mentioned a similar thing in one of his books. He told of a time when they accepted a lady into membership of the church. He found himself announcing to her, in front of the church, that if she ever heard a member speaking unfavorably of another member, she had his specific permission to tell the speaker that they did not allow that in the church. Since the church is a body (so says God, anyway), then denigration of a member by another member is tantamount to organ rejection within a human body. And THAT will seriously threaten the health of the entire body!

Good idea for all churches, IMO.

irreverend fox said...

Those are three great yet simple principles. I'm going to swipe them myself and introduce them to my elders, if that's ok.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Great! All are solid Biblical reasons for healthy relationships with others!

Anonymous said...

A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace—a holy mystery.

In the Western tradition, it is often defined as an outward, visible sign that conveys an inward, spiritual grace.

The root meaning of the Latin word sacramentum is "making sacred". For the first time in my forty plus years as a SB I am hearing this word used from the pulpit and in committee meetings.
Am I so disconnected from current theology that I have missed this change or is it an isolated incident?
Be grateful for any thoughts or corrections

Kevin Bussey said...

Thanks for the good words here and elsewhere!

Jeremy Green said...

Good words of wisdom. God bless!!!

In Christ,

Anonymous said...


Hello, again. Long time no blog---but I'm back for a while.

These are great principles. Your dad is very wise. You seem to have inherited that from him, if not his good looks!

I've been catching up on all the goings on that I have missed, and frankly, I'm very sad at the actions of many that I have just read about.

I'm going to say something fairly strong to all of us--- something all of us need to keep in mind...Jesus said "by their fruits you will know them".

What kind of fruit do we bear? Is it sweet and meek--or is it prideful, worldly, sinful?

How do we react in the face of a wrong or perceived wrong committed against us? Do we take revenge, or do we turn the other cheek?

Do we bear fruit that looks like Christ...or like the world?

Here is the strong part...if our fruit looks like the world...then by scriptural critique we are then of the world, and not of Christ.

If we say we love God, but hate our brother, we are liars, and the truth is not in us. To hate is to act in such a way as to seek revenge or cause harm...regardless of the smooth words we hypocritically say.

We need to judge ourselves, and test our own fruit. Many of us in ongoing controversies have poor fruit and are unwilling to judge ourselves, repent and be healed. We are puffed up with pride and self-righteousness---and are in extreme peril of God's righteous judgement.

The only person we as the followers of Christ can cast judgement on is ourselves. We need badly to look at our fruit and repent.

I have learned that my duty, and the duty of all who claim to follow Christ, is to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate the fruit I have borne.

--To seek revenge in any form is sin.

--To try to harm another in any form for any reason is sin.

--To lift myself above another in judgement, condemning and inflicting punishment is sin.

--To make a conscious decision to sin in the above ways despite the direct commands of Christ is to wilfully sin...and trample the blood of Christ underfoot. We choose to serve sin instead of Christ.

We must take sin seriously...and flee from it.

Wade, as far as I can see you have kept to the high road, while standing by your convictions.

Stay there. God will see you through.


Wayne Smith said...


Thanks for sharing these principals your Father taught you, More wisdom than words can provide.

I think Greg Cloud's words/post tells us the wisdom Our FATHER (GOD) wants us to display.

You have always displayed GOD'S GRACE and TRUTH in your posts, which is the name of your Blog.

Thank you for your witness and you Blog and standing for GOD'S TRUTH.

A Brother in CHRIST

Anonymous said...

Great post! Would that we could get these simple rules ingrained in every church member as well as staff. Thanks for the good words!