Relationships, Relationships, Relationships
Life is all about relationships. How can we improve all of the important relationships in our lives?
On the first day of class, my education professor told us what he believes are essential parts of being a teacher. “Our profession is about three things,” he said as he counted them off with his fingers, “relationships, relationships, relationships.”
Actually, those three things seem to be what everything is about. Out of my six college classes this semester, four have a direct connection with relationships and the other two have made a brief mention of them. One of my classes even has the purpose of helping college freshmen make new relationships with the students and staff.
I’m starting to get the idea that college isn’t just about books, labs and studies—it, too, is about relationships.
Relationships with God
College is not the only thing about relationships—so is life! And the best way to start looking at relationships is to consider our relationship with God, our Father and Creator.
God is the Supreme Being in this universe. With a word, He can create stars and planets and galaxies. With a thought, He can create life. With a whisper He can change the earth. He’s just that great. How do you approach a Being with that much power?
Actually, God has probably already approached you. He may not have talked to you like He talked to His prophets in the Old Testament, but today He talks to us through the Bible—His book on relationships. He has actively inspired the Bible so that we can learn and grow (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
What does the Bible say about our relationship with God?
One of the most important aspects of our relationship with God is that we must fear Him. By fear, we don’t mean be terrified of Him. The fear of God is a reverence, a respect based on His power and authority. We are told multiple times in the Bible to fear the Lord (Leviticus 19:32 and 25:17, for example). If we properly fear God, then we will strive to obey Him and do exactly as He says.
Yet, as great as God is, our thoughts and desires are important to Him. God cares about each of us as individuals—not just one great blob called humanity. In Numbers 12:8 God described His close relationship with Moses. Though we can’t see God face to face, we should all build our relationship with Bible study and prayer. God speaks to us through the Bible, and we can communicate with Him by praying (John 16:23-24).
Relationships with ourselves
Do you love yourself? If you answer no, then there could be a problem.
When Christ gave us the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), He based it on the fact that we would want the best for ourselves. That was the point behind the Golden Rule—to treat everyone as well as we would want others to treat us.
We most definitely want to avoid the extreme of pride (Proverbs 6:16-17). However, we shouldn’t see ourselves as worthless either. God created us and gave us the potential to be His children! If we think of ourselves as worthless, we may be questioning the God who made us, and that will affect our relationships with Him and others in a negative way.
Ask God to help you see yourself from His perspective—as a sinner who needs to change, but also as a potential child of God, greatly blessed by our Creator.
Relationships with others
Six of the 10 Commandments have to do with our relationships with other humans. All of our relationships—from our families to our friends to our coworkers—are extremely important. Man is not made to be alone (Genesis 2:18). We are built to have relationships.
These relationships will require some work. However, anyone who has had an excellent friend, good parents or a loving husband or wife could tell you that every bit of work that you put into it is more than worth it.
Sometimes relationships are all that can keep us going. When we fall or stumble, it will be those with whom we have good relationships—our friends and family—that we will turn to (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
To give us an idea of how important relationships are, Christ told us to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:44). If we are to care for our enemies, then what does that say of those who are not our enemies? We are to care for everyone—to have a relationship with everyone.
Now, in a world with over 7 billion people, I don’t think that Christ expects us to personally know everyone. But we can form relationships with the people around us—positive relationships that help us as much as they help others.
Life is about relationships—and that is what we must be about. We must have a good relationship with God, with ourselves and with those we encounter throughout the day. Like my professor said, it’s all about three things: relationships, relationships, relationships.
Read more in our "10 Commandments" section.