The young adult ministry at my church two weeks ago began a series on relationships. The book is Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. My impression of relationships is that they come with the territory. Some people you click with immediately, some you come to know over time, and some you might never befriend. This mentality in my thought process is wrong, especially when it comes to the body of Christ.
In the second chapter a statement is made first as a quotation of C.S. Lewis and continued throughout the chapter. “When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased (8).” To an evangelical at first glance seems like a no brainer. Of course we are to put God first; that is what we are taught from womb to present. The kicker is do we do it, or do we value created things, such as people, above God?
There are eight foundations to build a relationship discussed in the chapter.
1. You were made for relationships
2. In some way, all relationships are difficult
3. Each of us is tempted to make relationships the end rather than the means
4. There are no secrets that guarantee problem-free relationships
5. At some point you will wonder whether relationships are worth it
6. God keeps us in messy relationships for his redemptive purposes
7. The fact that our relationships work as well as they do is a sure sign of grace
8. Scripture offers a clear hope for our relationships
just a few quotes that stood out to me as I was reading.
First, under the indicators that reveal our tendency to reverse the order of things and put 2nd things 1st(8) “Controlling relationships out of desire for security” If you know me, you know this is a constant minute by minute struggle of mine. *hint, pray for me*
The second quote, “A good relationship involves honestly identifying the sin patterns that tend to trouble it. It involves being humble and willing to guard yourself and the other person from these sin patterns (11).” How true! Some of the best relationships I have had are with people who come to me and correct me in an area of sin. Not during an argument but in a peaceful gentle way. Humility goes a long way!
“The most dangerous aspect of your relationships is not your weakness, but your delusions of strength (12).” No Comment Needed!
I know this post has turned into a book. I hope to continue to post about the book as we progress through it.
Lane, Tim and Paul Tripp. Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. New Growth Press. Glenside, PA. 2006