Bible Reading: Mark 3:7-19
In quite a number of action films, there’s always that scene when the hero (that good guy in the movie) is asked if he needs help, but he insists that he’s a work-alone lone ranger. He goes on to fight hundreds of bad guys, kills all of them and saves his girlfriend.
One person against hundreds at a time…How???
I’ll tell you what, stories like that only happen in films, not in real life.
To truly thrive in spite of the realities and odds of this broken world, we realize that God did not wire us to do life alone. God put a need for relationships in us- a sense of family, friendship and community. Even Adam, in the best of conditions needed Eve.
God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Psalm 68:6
As you look over what this year has been and what is ahead, how will you sincerely answer this question: ‘Have I handled relationships right?’
Your response, whatever it is, should leave you thinking about what you can do more or what you can do better?
Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. Proverbs 17:17 (MSG)
We could be so busy doing life, trying to make something of ourselves and the situations we are in that we forget to see the people around us. Our eyes get closed to the support we can give and also receive from the people that God has put around us. If the picture of whatever you are chasing doesn’t have a sense of family or community to it, then it’s not a complete picture.
Let’s do a check together, a check on our relationships in all the forms that they come- family, friends, colleagues, church family, mentorship etc. I’m believing that as we do these checks, we’ll discover new ways to do better with our relationships and maybe fix the things we find to be broken. Solid relationships will position us to finish the year strongly and start the coming year even better. Remember, solid relationships don’t happen by chance.
Check for Pulse
It’s very easy to slip into assumptions when it comes to relationships- couples assume they are good because they have not started cursing at each other yet, parents assume their kids are fine at least they have not been summoned by the principal yet, friends assume all is well even though they can’t remember the last time there was a proper heartfelt conversation…
Can you look at all your relationships and check all the places where you might have been assuming. Real medical practitioners don’t assume someone to be alive or dead, they check for pulse.
And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! Eccl 4:10 (MSG)
Check for Substance
The best way to do this check is to look at all your relationships one after the other as you ask the “what and why” questions.
What is this relationship about? Why this relationship?
Don’t be like the guy that thinks he is in a romantic relationship with a lady only for her to introduce him as a ‘friend like a brother’. We have the tendency to pile up a lot of relationships that have no definition or substance, we don’t know how to treat each one neither can we give our best to any of them.
What relationships need definition? What relationships can be trimmed? What relationships can I value more so I can maximize the opportunities in them?
Check for Expressions
“I love you, I love you but hand no enter pocket bring out something”
Ultimately, all relationships are predicated on love and love is really marked by its expressions.
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. Matthew 26:40
If you asked these disciples if they loved Jesus, I’m sure they will swear on their lives that they loved Jesus, but when it mattered, their expression said otherwise.
Three words that come to mind when I think of relationships and the expressions that should not be lacking are honour, service and generosity.
Am I truly honouring of the people in my life? How much attention and commitment am I putting in? How loud is my generosity in my relationships?
To really enjoy and maximize the relationships that God brings around us we have to be deliberate about these three things.
Some simple to-dos:
- Write that text/email to say thank you to that friend, family, colleague, mentor…
- Ask sincerely: how can I help? How are you really doing?
- Order lunch, send data/airtime
Something To Pray
Pray today that God will help you be the right person/a better person in the relationships He has blessed you with
IniOluwa serves as a Volunteer Leader at Sycamore.