“Four of the Ten Commandments deal with our relationship to God while the other six deal with our relationships with people. But all ten are about relationships.” – Rick Warren.
Remember “WWJD?” Or “What would Jesus do?” That is an excellent question to ask if we are faced with uncertainty in some aspect of our lives. When we are talking about relationships, perhaps we should ask the question a different way: “How would Jesus live my life if He were me?” Or in other words, what would it look like for my life to be centered on Him? Jesus practiced radical love and it transformed the hearts of those He encountered. So what would the relationships in our lives look like if our life was centered on Him? That is the perspective we need if we want all of our relationships to reflect Christ in us.
Relating to others begins with how I relate to God. Until I love the Lord with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength, I will be unable to fully express that love unselfishly to others. As I experience His love and grace, my outward actions of radical love will begin to transform my relationships the same way they did for those whom Jesus loved throughout scripture. The better the relationship with Jesus the better friend, better coworker, better spouse, etc, we will be.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible reveals that our relationship with God affects our other relationships. As Christians, we want to experience intimacy with God. Psalm 73:28 tells us, “…how good it is to be near God!” And we want to hear and act on what James tells us in Chapter 4 verse 8: “Come close to God, and God will come close to you….” (James 4:8). We serve a living God who wants intimacy with us. God wants to draw near to us. Sometimes we have a hard time drawing near to God which is why we should be thankful He works in ways that draws us, even when we don’t draw near on our own. In the same vein, we can have intimacy in our relationships when we make it a point to draw near the other person even if they are not drawing near to us.
But once we are kind of centered on Jesus, what does that change in our everyday life? How does that overflow into our relationships? So, if we want our relationships to look like Jesus, then they’re gonna have to be defined by sacrificial love. Our love is more often conditional than it is unconditional. We want every relationship to look more like Jesus, if I really want that, then my relationships, all of them, are going to be defined by sacrifice.
And so that we would love sacrificially. That we would love when it’s inconvenient to do so, and that we would love people in a way that looks more and more like Jesus. And when we understand that, then we’re going to begin to see Christlike relationships in all things.
- What causes a relationship to be classified as radical?
- What can we do this week to improve our relationships?