Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The One Necessity in Building Healthy Relationships

2 PETER 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

PHILIPPIANS 3:10 That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”

Relationships. That is why God created us; first and foremost, to be in relationship with Him, and then with other created people. Yet, the time in history in which we find ourselves challenges the development and health of all relationships. We are marked by distractions and busyness. I sometimes wonder if we forget we are human beings to be in relationships, not human doings, all about getting stuff done, tasks completed, functions to do and the fostering of relationships ignored or just not thought of. The evidence abounds. Many spouses lament the lack of relationship in their marriages; kids find too busy parents rarely investing relationally in them; and when it comes to friendships? We likely have many acquaintances and few friends because the hard work of relationship-building hasn’t occurred. And there are reasons for this beyond distractions and busyness. Relationships are hard, messy, make demands upon us of putting the interests of others ahead of our own, and frankly, require a good amount of time in communicating and being with people. Yet when it comes to building relationships, healthy ones honoring the Lord, and edifying in the relationship, there is one necessity which must be of the highest priority and pursuit: our individual relationship with Jesus Christ.

Without a healthy spiritual walk and relationship with Jesus Christ, no human relationship reaches its God-desired potential. Without the Fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control growing in and controlling the believer, relationships in a marriage, family, church, even friendships, may be worldly good but never reach God’s best. Such truth reveals the greatest contribution we make in all our relationships is our pursuit of knowing and becoming like Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:22-23). And that brings us to the application or the road map to travel to this relational destination. It is in today’s scripture.

Both the Apostle Peter and Paul reveal what is life’s greatest pursuit and purpose along with what sets us on the course to healthy human relationships-growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ with the purpose to know Christ or build the relationship with Christ. This is not about acquiring Biblical knowledge. It is about encountering the Christ revealed in the Bible. Such thinking transforms our understanding of prayer and our approach to the Bible. In both, we are seeking Him; we are pursuing Him; we are longing for Him. And it is in this passion and pursuit, we are transformed into His image which is the necessity for healthy God-honoring relationships. The Apostle Paul would describe this transforming process in his second letter to the Corinthians-And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18)

So, in our desire for healthy human relationships–marriages, churches, friends–make the number one relationship the highest priority: our one with the Lord. Get that one in order and we begin to meet the one necessity for building healthy human relationships–becoming like Him.

PRAYER: “Father, help me to be what I am to be in every relationship You gave me–Christ-like.”
QUOTE: “Without a healthy walk with Christ, no human relationship will reach its God-desired potential.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim