Our bible study program continues in 2021 with focus on Living in the Image of God. We will explore the implications for human interactions and relationships; such as husband and wife, parent and child, leader and follower, people versus government, providers and clients in nonprofit or for-profit activities, and among siblings and others. We will share each biweekly session by providing a short description, ten-minutes video, and a modifiable guide for independent study or discussion. We invite everyone to share in our studies, thank all previous participants in our program, and look forward to connecting with you in 2021 and thereafter. God bless you.
The Banking Blessings Ministry bible study program will continue in 2021 with focus on Living in the Image of God, exploring implications for various aspects of human interactions and relationships. The program will be re-focused to seek clear understanding of Living in the Image of God as applied to specific aspects of human interactions and relationships: such as husband and wife, parent and child, leader and follower, people versus government, providers and clients in nonprofit or for-profit activities, and among siblings and others. We have general ideas and will continue to work on the details of how the study needs to proceed. We invite every person to consider participating more with us as we work on developing opportunities for expanding participation. We thank all previous participants in our program and look forward to connecting with you in 2021 and thereafter.
Every person is individually accountable for their responsibility in any human relationship or event, independent and irrespective of others’ behavior. God’s expectation and judgment of every person in a relationship or event depend on his specific assignment for the person and are independent of his expectation and judgment of the other party. He holds each person accountable to fulfill their role. He rewards those that do and is displeased with those that don’t, irrespective of what others do or fail to do. We discuss Christ teaching in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard and an example from David: based on his reverence for Saul in life and honor at death, not minding that Saul considered him an enemy and sought relentlessly to take his life.
Every person is accountable for his/her responsibility in any human relationship, independent of the behavior of the other party. God’s expectations and judgment of an individual regarding conduct of a human relationship are independent of his expectations and judgment of the other party.
Apostle Paul describes the message in his letter to Romans [12:17–18], where he admonishes every person to perform their individual responsibility in any relationship irrespective of the other party performing or failing to perform theirs: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Paul used the phrase “…If it is possible, as far as it depends on you…” to emphasize you should explore all options to determine how it is possible, focus on the aspects that depend on you—the things you control, and leave the other party to handle the things they control. Therefore, Paul’s message emphasizes that God holds every person accountable to fulfill their individual responsibility in human relationship, independent and irrespective of the performance of the other party in the relationship.
We discuss Christ teaching in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard [Matthew 20:1–15], regarding a hypothetical landowner that hired different groups of workers at different times based on a separate wage and service agreement for each group. At the end of the day, he honored the wage and service agreement for each group independent of the agreement for the others. He expected those he hired in the morning to work for the entire day whereas those he hired late in the day he expected to work for the remaining time. He judged that each fulfilled his expectation and had them paid according to each individual agreement. The landowner’s expectation and judgment of each worker were independent of his expectation and judgment of other workers. Similar to God’s expectation and judgment of an individual regarding behavior in a human relationship.
Also, we discuss David’s response to the death of Saul as an example of a person focusing on his individual responsibility in a relationship without minding the behavior of the other party. For several years, Saul considered David an enemy and pursued him relentlessly to take his life but was unsuccessful. In contrast, David was respectful of Saul as the sitting God-anointed king of Israel, would not “lay a hand” on Saul even when he encountered enticing opportunities to kill him, and mourned Saul at death to honor him as a fallen God-anointed king of Israel. His reverence for Saul in life and honor at death illustrate individual responsibility in human relationship is unidirectional and independent.
This bible study, led by Rev. Julius Edah, pastor of the United African Presbyterian Church, Dallas, discusses healthy communication in human relationship. The study reminds of an interaction I witnessed recently between two men at a gas (i.e., petrol) station. The younger man had his car facing the wrong way at the dispenser. An older man advised him to drive out and turn his car around and offered to save his position. The younger man rejected the offer, somewhat angrily, and the older man asked him why he was “being a jerk about it.” They exchanged all manner of angry words. I thought about the encounter after I left the gas station but soon forgot it. However, it returned to my mind during the bible study. The leader, Rev. Edah, likened healthy communication to a “fountain of life,” citing Proverbs 10:11. I wondered how the two men drew so much bitterness from what really was an opportunity to share goodwill.