Vol. 19 No. 27 | July 9, 2017
Life is full of demands, and these demands create stress that tend to cause confusion, making it difficult to see the things that are truly important in life. When we lose our focus, possessions, position, power, and being productive crowd out what is really important: relationships.
Relationships are what matter.
When a baby is born, we realize the importance of relationships. Parents shed tears of joy when they realize they have been blessed together. Grandparents rejoice over the opportunity to share the joy with their children. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, close friends, and neighbors share the joy of being a part of the baby’s life.
Graduations remind us of the importance of relationships. Classmates celebrate the shared struggle of the education process. Students acknowledge the support they have received from parents, grandparents, teachers, and spouses.
Illness highlights the value of prayerful partners, neighbors who provide food, friends who help with medical costs, and the quiet servants who show up at just the right moment. When we are sick, we are thankful for doctors, nurses, and lab technicians who use their skills to provide healing for the body.
Memorial services create an atmosphere where we pay honor to someone with whom we have had a special relationship. Through stories, songs, poems, tears and embraces, we express our love and appreciation for the deceased and the survivors.
Jesus demonstrated His desire to have a relationship when He came to earth to dwell with us. “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” (John 1:14, The Message)
Jesus modeled His desire for His disciples to build strong relationships with one another when He washed the their feet and said to them:
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:15-17, NIV)
Jesus expressed the importance of good healthy and loving relationships when He told them:
Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other. (John 13:34-35, NIV)
Jesus assured His disciples that even though He was physically leaving them, He would continue to be with them.
If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! (John 14:15-17, NIV)
During His time on earth with the disciples, Jesus demonstrated the importance of relationships by loving them, teaching them, and modeling what it means to love God and love people.
Spend some time this week reflecting on the relationships that you consider most important. Are relationships more important to you and to your church than buildings, budgets, inward-focused programs? Are you expressing the value to these relationship? Are you doing everything you can to strengthen and nurture these relationships?
Don’t allow the demands and pressures of life rob you of the joy of your relationships. Take the time to enjoy them, for they are what truly matter.
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017 Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.