We hear a lot these days about relationships; there are websites, books, lectures, workshops and novels. There is self-help, self-actualization and self-fulfillment; it just seems that society is all concerned about their relationships!
If you just look at all of the stuff about relationships, you would likely come away with the idea that relationships in the 21st century all either non-existent or dysfunctional… yet this probably isn’t entirely true. More likely people are just missing the one relationship that will make the others work: a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus told us how to have a relationship with Him, and He gave us the result:
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
It would seem that we need to hold to His teachings to become His disciple in fact as well as in words; do we hold to His teachings? (Even when nobody is looking?) Do we know the truth? Jesus told us that, “I am the way, the truth and the life” Do we know Him?
In John 8 Jesus went on to explain that He will set us free from sin; have we been set free? It’s a funny thing when you think about it; when we have been set free from sin, when we hold to His teachings and do the things He would do and say the things that He would say, our relationships with other people suddenly seem to improve. Maybe this is because our point of view changes also and we are dealing with others from a point of view that is no longer centered on ourselves…
Now it’s only fair to point out that some relationships may suffer if we do this, for so many people will actively oppose Jesus Himself; they will oppose us as well in many cases. Yet we will still be better off holding to His teachings for we are free; free to share and free to move on.
Maybe I’m just too simple; maybe I just lack sophistication, but it seems to me that if we can be set free from sin and selfishness it’s still a really good deal! For this reason, I would urge all Christians to put their highest priority in life on building and maintaining their relationship with Jesus.