It is all about relationships…
In this article you will learn:
· The three steps to restarting healthy relationships
· The most important factor in starting a relationship
· The only relationship that will last forever
· The ultimate relationship connector
1. Recognize the impact of relationships
When you are in a relationship, it will change you for good or for bad. We are told in I Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals”. Relationships will either subtract or add to your life. In Proverbs 13:20 we are instructed “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” This is why it is critical you choose your relationships wisely.
2. Stop waiting on others
We were born to connect with others. It is inevitable we will search to be connected. When we don’t, we feel loneliness. Loneliness is a God given signal which indicates we are lacking significant relationships. So the questions is not whether or not we should develop relationships, but who we will choose to connect with to impact us to have a better life. And since there is so much at stake in relationships, stop waiting for people to connect with you, intentionally look to connect with others. This is going to require for you to be discerning. In Proverbs 20:5-6 we are told “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.6 Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?” What is the most important factor to look for? Look for the condition of the heart. Why? Because THE CONDITION OF THE HEART AND SOULD WILL DETERMINE THE CONDITION OF THE RELATIONSHIP. One of the ways to detect a person with a “healthy” heart to see how he/she reacts to others when they enter a room. A friend is someone who when he enters the room he looks around to see how he can be a blessing. Many people when they enter a room look for what they can get.
3. Intentionally connect with church
Why you need the church? The church offers you at least two benefits. First, it connects you to God’s eternal temple. We are taught in Ephesians 1:22-23 “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” God is building a spiritual temple. We are reminded in I Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” and in Ephesians 2:21, 22 “in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” The key word mention in this verses is “together”. You cannot life by yourself. We are compared to a building. While building our new sanctuary in the last three years, I learned valuable lessons which I can compare to the building a house of relationships. The first, you can’t build it with just one part. Second, all the parts have to fit together. Third, a part is useless until it is connected. Fourth, a part can be inside the house and still not be part of the house. The point God wants us to learn through the metaphor of a building is that everyone matters, there are people God want you to be connected with, your gifts and talents won’t matter unless you are connected, and it is possible to be in a crowd in a church and not be part of the church. God call you not to simply believe, but to belong. The best relationships you will ever make will be in a healthy church. Find a church where you fit.
The second a healthy church will offer is that it connects you to support and hold each other up. We are told in I Timothy 3:15 “but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” You get STABILITY AND SUPPORT when you are connected to the local church. You will never be stable and grounded spiritually until you get connect with God’s people. The best place to do this is in a small group. BE ANCHORED IN RELATIONSHIP. The only connection that will last forever is the one we make at the church. The church is the only one which will last forever. The family of God will last forever. God created the world to have a family. We are taught in Romans 12:5, “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” I like the word “connected”. The church is not an event you go to. It is a family you belong to. There is only one relationship that will last forever – the family of God. Neither marriage, not sports team, not political party club will last for eternity. God connects you to Christ’s body, that is, the church. We are told in Ephesians 1:22-23, “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” and in Romans 12:4-5 “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” We are all different and unique. God does not make clones. God loves diversity within his church. God just don’t accept it we celebrate it. Never confuse prominence with significance. You may not be in front in stage, but regardless who God connect you with, you have significance. The fact is that you cannot fulfill God’s purpose for your life by yourself. Just like a body organs have no value at all if they are disconnected. You can only grow by being connected to Christ’s body.
A Christian without a church family is an orphan. When I was born, I become part of the human family. I didn’t become part of a family until they took me home. What you need more than anything else is a spiritual family. And your number one responsibility as a member of a church – LOVE other members. I Peter 2:17 reminds us to “Show respect for all people: Love the brothers and sisters of God’s family, respect God, honor the king.” LOVE IS THE ULTIMATE CONNECTOR. Life is about connecting. If you are not connecting you are missing out. To say I love Jesus, but I don’t like his church, is to say that we love him, but don’t like his body.