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Relationships Make Life Rich

One of the greatest challenges that we have faced as a country and community over the last 18 months due to COVID-19  is a change of how, when, and why we connect with others relationally.  Some grandparents didn’t see their grandkids for a full year.  Restaurants emptied.  Business meetings moved from in-person to Zoom.  Even worship services, for many, moved to virtual with church online.  While the health concerns warranted many of these changes, let’s not forget the Biblical call to connect with others and our need for community.

God created us as relational beings.  We need healthy family relationships.  We need coworkers to engage with and be encouraged by.  We need time around the dinner table.  We need to gather together regularly to worship God.  Relational connection is required because of how we are wired up.  As a friend of mine and former pastor of Parkway Scott Weatherford often says, “Relationships make life rich!”   That is true always but now more than ever, we need the richness that relationships bring.

Living a connected life gives you people with whom you can do life.  We need people in our corner.  People with whom to celebrate when times are good and pick us up when times are tough.  We need people to tell us what we need to hear not just what we want to hear.  It can be easy to isolate ourselves and cocoon away from all that is happening around us, but we must fight the urge for this to become a habit or how we live life without even thinking.  Hebrew 10:24-25 commands us to not give up meeting together but to encourage one another all the more so that we can spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Is it time for you to reconnect to some rich relationships in your life?

Living a connected life also gives you a place in which you will discover and apply God’s will to your life.  It will also give you people to whom you can turn for Godly wisdom while navigating life’s ups and downs.  This is how you take your community from good to great.  Turn to each other and ask for help and advice when you are facing difficult circumstances or substantial life decisions.  You don’t have to live life alone and you don’t have to make every decision yourself.

We learn this truth in the book of Proverbs.  Throughout the book of Proverbs, we learn the benefit of trusting others to discover God’s activity and direction for our lives:

  • “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure. “ Proverbs 11:14
  • “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”  Proverbs 12:15
  • “Wisdom is found in those who take advice.”  Proverbs 13:10
  • “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”  Proverbs 15:22
  • “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”  Proverbs 19:20
  • “Make plans by seeking advice…”  Proverbs 20:18
  • “The pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.”  Proverbs 27:9

The common word through many of these verses is “advice or advisors” before you run out and look for advice from everybody and their dog, consider who you should look to for Godly wisdom.  The first quality is spiritual maturity.  Make sure that who you go to will point you to God, not just to everyday common sense.  Next, look for someone who wisely applies the truth of God to their life.  Do you respect who they are and who they are becoming?  If not, why go to them.  The last quality is someone who is committed to you.  Don’t look for someone who is just there to fix your problem but someone who is committed and able to walk with you through the decision-making process that you are facing.

It is vital to find these three qualities in the people to whom we turn for Godly advice.  Think about it.  When we turn to them, we trust them with our lives. We come to them and talk through questions of what we should say, do, think or feel.  They then advise us and provide Godly insight.  You then take action based on their recommendations in the context of what God has been teaching you through his Word and by His Spirit.  

What you have just done is opened up your life to someone else and in a sense have given them at least a percent share ownership of your future?  If you get it right, this type of mentoring or discipleship relationship can be one of the most fruitful relationships that you will ever experience.