Relationships: like repairing nets

March 19, 2013 admin

fishing nets“…to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:12).

Our New Testaments contain approximately 181,000 words. But in this verse from the pen of the Apostle Paul, he uses a specific term found nowhere else in the NT.

The Greek noun transliterated katartismos denotes a wide range of concepts, including training, completing, or restoring. The NKJV translates as “equipping”; in the NIV above, the word is “prepare”.

But in that single Greek word is a facet of meaning that may be missed in English.

In the 1st century Mediterranean culture – and for those living around the Sea of Galilee – the word was often associated with the process of repairing and maintaining fishing nets. Because of the essential nature of nets to their vocational task, a fishing crew would check their nets habitually, intentionally, vigilantly.

If you’ve been involved in the ministry of a local church, you also know that when you are involved in service with others, relationships get tested – feelings are hurt, motivations are questioned, and walls get built up.

Like Mediterranean fishermen going through the daily routine of confirming the integrity of their nets and repairing where necessary, we want to be a local church where we give attention to our relationships with that same habitual, intentional, vigilant care.

We reflect our love for the Lord Jesus by how we love each other.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

Takeaway: We’ve been encouraged to pray the following each day this week:

Lord, empower me by Your Holy Spirit to be forgiving. Characterize my life with mercy, grace, love. Make me one who refuses to listen to, or promote gossip; always assuming others’ best intentions, seeking God’s strength to refuse to take offense.

Is there someone I need to clarify with, reconcile with, apologize to?

And Lord, make me approachable. Help us to see in each other Your righteousness as we together seek for truth and maintain the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).

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