How important are relationships?

How important are relationships? According to Oscar Thompson in Concentric Circles of Concern,The most important word in the English language, apart from proper nouns is relationship. You say, but love has to be the most important word. Love moves through a relationship.” Since the creation of mankind, life is about relationships. There are two basic relationships in life. One is a vertical relationship that exists between man and God. the other is the horizontal relationship that exists between persons. The first relationship in the Bible is God’s relationship with man as the Creator. God’s stated objective was to create man in His own image and to have the reasoning ability and to be able make moral choices. Man was created with the capacity for personal interaction with God and with others. In the Genesis account of creation God and man are presented interacting together and in relationship with the third part of relationships woman. In the creation story there is both vertical and horizontal relationships.

In the Gospels, Jesus is seen entering into relationship with those He encounters. According to John 1:35-51, as Jesus was going about his day, He invited individuals to enter into a relationship with Him in the statement, Come and see. With every person Jesus encountered in the Bible there was an opportunity for relationship building. this same scenario can be seen when Jesus, while passing through Samaria, encountered the woman at the well. Jesus seized hold of the opportunity to establish a relationship with the Woman at the well as described in John 4. he met her where she was and spoke to her as an equal. this relationship resulted in many more from her city meeting Jesus as their Savior.

In the Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus tells His disciples that they are to make disciples as they are going. Making disciples is about establishing relationships and building upon that relationships. It is about taking hold of the opportunity that is presented and to be Jesus to others who do not know Jesus. After all didn’t Jesus say to his followers, “As the Father has sent me, so send I you.” It is not about withdrawing from the world, nor is it about warring with those who disagree, and it is not about walking in the same lifestyle as others. It is about being Jesus in our speech, action and reaction. It’s something to think about.

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