It’s All About Relationships
Relationship. The technical definition of that word is “the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other” (Merriam-Webster). The practical application is simply how people interact with one another.
Every person has a variety of relationships. There are personal relationships such as parent to child, husband and wife, or just friend to friend. There are professional relationships between employees and employers or even students and teachers. There are less formal relationships between neighbors. There is the spiritual relationship between brethren. Life is one big collection of relationships.
Perhaps that’s too clinical of a view. Life isn’t just a collection of relationships—it’s all about relationships. Imagine life without relationships. Imagine living isolated from everyone. No speech. No human touch. No emotional connection.
That was not God’s plan. God said man shouldn’t be alone (Genesis 2:18). So often that passage is applied solely to the concept of marriage. But it’s more than that. The principle applies in general. God did not design man to live an isolationist life. He made man to have a desire to be in relationships.
The scriptures are filled with story after story detailing the importance of relationships. One of the best-known examples is David and Jonathan: “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1). Sadly many have tried to interpret that passage to mean something it doesn’t. The writer is simply commenting on how close of a friendship David and Jonathan had.
It’s that kind of love that Jesus expected all disciples to have for one another. He described it this way: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”” (John 13:34–35). If we love each other the way Jesus said, it should look a whole lot like David and Jonathan.
Do you have that kind of a relationship with your brethren? Is your soul “knit” to the souls of the others here? Do you love each person here as yourself? When you are absent from the assembly, does it hurt?
John Fawcett wrote of this relationship, “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above… When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain; But we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.”
May God help us to have those kinds of relationships here at East Shelby—because it’s all about relationships.