It all starts with the heartbeat of our mother. As infants in the womb, we hear and feel that heartbeat and want to be near it. From that first “touch,” we are launched into the world wanting and needing a whole series of meaningful relationships.
Our circle of connectivity quickly expands beyond our mother and father. We start to relate to siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, and family friends. As we grow older, we reach out to establish our own ring of friends, and they matter to us.
And, once we have a personal relationship with Christ and understand what His Spirit is trying to accomplish in and through us, relationships become even more important. It is no longer simply a matter of shared interests but a matter of eternal values.
We learn to reach out in love as it dawns on us that if we want to look like our Savior, we have to act like our Savior. We are called to love one another. We are constrained to care. In fact, the very definition of being a Christ follower requires us to love “as He loved us.”
That means that relationships of all kinds matter. Believers are to be in a 360-degree pursuit of meaningful relationships. We are to reach out to those older than us. They have so much wisdom to share, if we just ask (or hang around long enough to watch them do life).
We are to reach out to the younger ones in our midst. Take a look at all that energy they have. Prayerfully some of it will rub off on us! We are to reach out to folks who share our own life stage. It so encouraging to know we aren’t the only ones struggling with a particular issue.
We are to reach out to some folks who are not like us at all. And what we will find is a valuable array of new thoughts and attitudes. Their experiences will affect our thinking and in a good way.
We are to reach out to some who have hurt us, too. In the very act of forgiveness, we get set free. And the relationships that grow from dark soil moistened by our tears are rich!
Believers relate. They relate to the Lord and to each other. Investing in relationships is one of the chief components of building a life worthy of our calling.
So, my friends at Coast Hills, no hiding behind our old friends this week. Let’s mix it up. Even if it isn’t name-tag Sunday, let’s reach out. Say “Hi.” Ask a few questions. Listen for the answers. Offer to meet for coffee. Exchange phone numbers. Start a relationship.
Truth is, we ought to get the process started early. We are going to be doing this “relationship thing” for all eternity!
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.