We usually think of more than one person when we talk about relationships. We think of what happens between two people or between members of a small group, between colleagues, church members, bosses and employees, teachers and students. This is just to mention a few examples. The strange thing is that our relationship to others depends on how we look upon ourselves and how we feel. I will try to be more concrete. If I should have a low self-esteem, it could come out in many ways. I might become a little snobbish in order to prove that I am somebody or I might become very insecure and submissive. I might do a lot of good things in order to be liked, but I might be very vulnerable and easily hurt. If I have grown up with parents that I couldn’t fully trust, I might not fully trust people and guard myself from letting them come too close. I might have built a wall of defense around me and it is not easy for people to penetrate that wall. I believe that you easily can see how that can create conflicts in a close relationship. One part is safe and shows the other one love, but the other part is all the time doubting the seriousness and might reject the love given. That will in the long run create wounds in both parts. I do know that these kind of conflicts can be solved. If the person who is insecure, could be open about his or her feelings, the other part might understand the fear for receiving love much better. God might heal the difficulties from the past and He can help people with what is difficult today. Sometimes it is enough for the two of them to talk about it, but a third person might sometimes be a necessary help. Call upon The Helper.
Be open and honest towards yourself and others.
If you had a bad day at work or at school, you might not be in the best of moods. You might not say anything about what bothers you, but you get irritated for almost nothing. The atmosphere gets tense and the people around you do not understand anything. You might feel that everybody is against you. I think that you should tell the others that you had a tough day. Maybe you want to be alone for some time. Others want to talk about it. We would also pray for the situation in our home. Maybe you are not the type to talk badly to others, but you get quiet and do not say anything at all. That doesn’t create a good atmosphere either. I actually heard that silence is the utmost form of control. When one is quiet, there is no communication except for body-language. When you do not get any answer, it might lead to desperation from the other part and some get tempted to hit. There are times when you should be quiet instead of letting the other person get your anger. That’s different. In other words:
There is a divine silence and a satanic one.
One can think of two people holding each other hands without saying anything, but love is running over between them. It might be lovers, children and parents, grandparents and grandchildren. I have been driving with many people around the world. Sometimes there is a very relaxing silence, but there have been times of unpleasant silence. I have sometimes asked how the other person feels. A lot is dependent of what goes on inside the person. I guess you understand that your relationship with others is dependent on how you feel yourself.
I like to look at Jesus and see how He did things. How did He build relationships? What did He say and with whom did He associate? He always wanted to be with His Father even when He was a little boy. He didn’t think of Joseph then, but His Father in Heaven. He often went aside to be with Him. He also said that He only did what the Father told Him to do. Jesus knew His Father and they were and are very close. Jesus was sent by His Father to this earth in order for the Father to have a close relationship with His children. Nobody is meant to live alone. There might be times when one should go aside in order to be with God, but hermits do not belong to the Kingdom of God. Everything in the kingdom is built on relationships. God created man in His image and He wanted a close relationship to His children. He talks about a body with Jesus as the Head. A body is built by many members and each member has a special function. Each member belongs to another member and together they are one body. A body cannot function if there are loose parts laying around. I feel strongly that God connects people without paying attention to country, layers of society or church. Sometimes for a short time and a special purpose. Others will last for a lifetime.
Jesus made His Father the first priority, but then came His disciples after He became an adult man. We also understand that He loved His mother Mary. Most of His disciples were down to earth people, not understanding so much theology, but these were the men that Jesus chose to be closest to Him. They were not perfect and not always loyal either, but they had something that attracted Jesus. They were willing to leave everything in order to follow Him. He must also have been attractive to them. They looked upon Him as their Master, but also as One performing signs and wonders.
Jesus talked to women and He broke many of the religious laws and those in the society. He healed on the Sabbath and He talked to people from Samaria. He was together with sinners and tax-collectors and allowed a prostitute to anoint Him. He was not very liked by religious leaders since He revealed their false motives and double moral. He had great compassion for people, but He didn’t allow people to manipulate Him. He only talked once to some people. Others were His friends like Lazarus, Martha and Mary. He ate with them and they talked together. Jesus was a true man, but also true God. We are not only spiritual beings and I have friends I travel with, eat with and have fun with. I have friends on different levels.
How do we relate in the church? I have been to churches with a strong spiritual leadership, but they didn’t know how to relate to people. It was very difficult to get friends in this church. We did pray together in the small group, but we didn’t get to know each other. People didn’t greet each other during Sunday service unless we were told to shake hands with the ones sitting next to you. I personally know people who had been in a party in my home, but when we met in church, they didn’t greet me. They had a lot of control in this church and that creates fear. A natural love atmosphere was lacking. A pastor should have a heart for the sheep and be sure that they get spiritual food. He should also be sure that they grow in the Lord and He should care for their well beings. If the leaders care for the members, the entire church will be affected and it will be easy to build relationships. The leaders should be real and transparent. That will make the members secure.
JESUS SHOWS LOVE. THAT IS THE FOUNDATION FOR ALL RELATIONSHIPS.