Week of November 10
"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers . . . but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love . . ." ~Titus 2:3-4
There is something to be said about women helping women. I recall when I worked as a flight attendant we women looked out for one another. At 35,000 feet, we didn't have family, friends, church, or a support group of any kind. Earning a living out of a suitcase in a different city each night gave new meaning to vigilance.
I witnessed competitiveness and selfishness give way to survival through unity, kinship and an inevitable bond of trust and loyalty. Even if we occasionally worked with someone who seemed a bit odd, we all knew deep down in our hearts that that woman was one of us. We were a united front among passengers, and we knew that in a pinch or, worse yet, in an emergency, we could depend upon one another for our rescue in the face of accosting offenders or amid smoldering wreckage.
Over time, we came to love one another as sisters, as like-minded women who deeply understood each other's joys and challenges in our work and our unique lifestyle, like no one else.
Such is the nature of teamwork, where the combined efforts of many produce much. Women helping women, as the generations were instructed in Titus 2, produces exponential wisdom and achievement. It helps us to begin strong, accelerate fast and finish well. Where combined seeds of investment are planted, a multiple return is reaped.
Who are you investing in? Perhaps it's your daughter or a mentee at work; maybe an intern. God has a way of growing our investment.
The Cretan women in Titus 2 were taught God's precepts of servanthood, of giving and receiving in relationships, the strength and value of nurturing. They were offered the building blocks for strong foundations in their families and work. Paul knew their investments would be rewarded when he wrote those encouraging words. He wanted women to succeed, as God did and still does.
How we get along with our sisters determines much. Gossip, pettiness and back-biting are the demons of division. And when we participate in these behaviors, we inhibit our divine blessings.
Consider 2 Timothy 2:16 "Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly" and 2 Timothy 2:23-24 "Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels." James 4:11 says, "Brothers [Sisters], do not slander one another."
How much more of God's blessings could we have if we just lived right?
When we let go of Cretan-like behaviors, learn who we are in Christ and choose to walk in God's empowering love, no matter what the behavior of others, we will find strength and unity, we will demonstrate sisterhood, and we will be blessed beyond measure.
What's in your heart? For an honest account, just ask the Holy Spirit. Then repent and prepare to walk in God's power and blessings.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.
Originally published Sunday, 10 November 2013.