Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
This week, our Wednesday evening Bible Study group continues our examination of Christian relationships with a new six session series by Pastor Louie Giglio, titled “Relat(able)”. Pastor Giglio states that from the time that we are born, relationships shape who we are and how we engage with the world around us. We develop a view of God and others that impacts how we relate to our family and friends. All of us desire more meaningful relationships. But, are we able to relate? Are we the kind of person that is going to move through life which is able to have relationships that are meaningful, fulfilling and significant?
God has put us (7 billion people) on planet Earth for relationships and that fact is not going to go away. The degree to which we receive what God has given us, and is going to give us, determines the degree to which we are going to have meaningful and fulfilling relationships with yourself and other people. The term “given to us” means “to everyone, while the term “Going to give to us” means “the unfolding of everything”.
God desires to bring amazing things into our lives right now, but there are two reasons why we don’t take what God is wanting to give us. (1) We don’t think we are worthy of God giving us amazing things on our life. (2) We’ve been deceived into thinking that what we have now (here on earth) is better than want God wants us to give and receive. We have to let go of what we have in order to receive what God has to give us. We have stuff in our lives that are keeping us from receiving the best of God for our lives.
The love of God trumps whatever else we have experienced in life. Apart from God, your relationship with “you” is the most important relationship you have. To love your neighbor as yourself, you first have to love yourself. The number one flaw that we experience in interpersonal relationships is that we expect more of other people than they can realistically provide and give us (aka unrealistic expectations). Other people are not to solve and resolve everything that you and I long for in our life.
We have an amazing way to always “flip” criticism around to the other person, because we have one standard for others and another standard for ourselves. They cannot meet our needs because nobody is perfect, except Jesus and He is available for us now. Also, we want God to give us much more “slack” than we are willing to give others. The way that we resolve and balance all this relationship issue out is by placing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the middle.
Let's continue this great message on the love and mercy of God in our relationships in the next post.
In Christ, Brian