Relational Thinking Thoughts

I have been wrestling with this concept of how much we really desire genuine relationships.  I have been reading and thinking about Jesus and what His desire is for us concerning relationships.  How does He want to be relational with us?  How do we want to be relational with him?  If God wants us to be relational together with us, then what about our relationships with other people?  How should we have relationships with others?  Should they be the same as we our relationship with Christ? (leave the traditional Sunday School answers at home.)

Verses and passages I have been processing:

  • Genesis – “It is not good for man to be alone.”  Adam, walked with God but still was alone.  God gave him Eve, a companion, someone who would be relational with him.  How did they function outside of the fall?  What was their relationship with God like?  How was it different than ours with Him, if at all?
  • Ruth – A story of compassion, love, mercy, and grace.  All interesting views regarding relationships.
  • The Gospels – Jesus and His desire wasn’t to walk alone but to take followers.  He choose 12 men to walk with him.  Why the 12?  What did he “see” in them?
  • Paul – Had a relationship with Timothy.  What was his relationship like with the 12?  How were they communicating to each other?

I think we live in a culture that desires relationships, it’s in our blood, our makeup.  However, I think somewhere we have lost that concept.  We have corrupted it’s meaning.  Somewhere we stopped knowing how to communicate with other people.  Somewhere we stopped being in relationships with others. In all honesty, the midst of our crowded existence, many of us are living lonely lives, away from people.  We are non relational, we avoid it.  In a discussion I had a few days ago, a buddy of my said we are selfish in our relational approaches.  Interesting.  Some of us think we are extremely social but we still feel alone, why?

Remember when we were kids.   We were once very attached to each other.  We played outside together, we rode bikes, we laughed at sleepovers.  Then we departed our “childish ways” and grew up.  Why?  When did we stop seeking a genuine relationship?  Why do we give in to loneliness? When did we start lying about our feelings and stop genuinely caring for the other person no matter what the cost.  Look at little kids, you’ll see.

Why do we end up missing out on the benefits of regular, meaningful relationships? When we aren’t in meaningful relationships, we suffer natural consequences, whether we realize it or not.

Some interesting conclusions…

  1. A lost perspective leads to lack of relationship – Our enemy’s most successful strategy is to isolate us so he can attack.  We need relationships to grow in every way and avoid being alone.  Being relational is God given, we can’t reject it.  If we refuse to be relational, we lose intimacy and become afraid.
  2. Fear of intimacy can leads to lost perspective – People who fear intimacy think that if others really get to know them, they won’t like them, so they would rather stay disconnected than risk rejection.  Get out of the box, become relational, seek healthy, honest, meaningful relationships.  If we lose our perspective, we become selfish.
  3. Selfishness breeds stubbornness – Over time, a disconnected person becomes self-absorbed.  We must refuse to be self seekers and become others first initiators.  We must seek each others best so that relationships can thrive and loneliness can be avoided.

Think about it

-Jordan

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