people relationships, God relationship

Over in Facebook, another conversation spurred some thoughts. It has to do with how our relationships with people is tied in with our relationship with God. Here’s my comment:

Our family is part of a regular gathering (aka, simple, organic, church gathering in a home) of 6-7 families, and over the years we are gradually growing in love, in vulnerability, in trust. It certainly hasn’t happened overnight. We’ve had to hack through some rough waters, offending people, bruising one another (hey, that’s not one of those “one-anothers” is it?!) – and I’ve been one of the biggest offenders. But this is life, eh? Early on we sensed the Lord say he was making love a primary focus – both his for us and the world around us, and his love growing in us for each other. And when we come together, sharing what he’s been up to in and through our lives is a focus, along with times of intimate worship of our King, and times of prayer and his gifts moving among us.

Over the years, what God has been doing in our relationships with him has been very connected with the growth of the relationships among the people. As love and safety grows, it’s like God says, “alright, that’s what I’ve been waiting for, now I’ve got some work to do in some folks here, and there’s gonna be some rough waters, but I’m going to use the environment I created with these relationships to do some amazing things.” And we learn to love people when they aren’t always lovely. And in time, everyone gets a go at being unlovely. And we see what God does through it, both in us, and through us, and we’re all amazed at God again, and find ourselves drawn to him afresh, with a greater faith in him rising up.

So the dynamics of good things among the relationships in the group is directly connected to coming into “more” in our relationship with God. For example, one thing I’m only vaguely coming to realize is that, as I be a mess in the group, people love me through it, I gain a sense of safety among my “hood”, I’m seeing a similar kind of safety in my relationship with God – the one who doesn’t want us to ever question his unending love. It’s beginning to put a fresh lens on “he who doesn’t love his brother stumbles around in the dark” – paraphrased from 1 Jn 2. I’m sure there’s much more to develop on this topic, so will be interested in other’s thoughts.

So, it’s my growing realization that the relationships among us are inextricably intertwined with our relationship with God, whether for better or for worse.

2 Replies to “people relationships, God relationship”

  1. I know for us, a big reason we left the institutional church was due to the lack of relationships. Everyone there thought they had relationship…but we rarely did anything outside of the church building with anyone. Our phone never rang with anyone calling just to chat. – Sure, we can blame it on our culture or the internet age…but Christ walked the earth (in part) to demonstart His love for the Father and He prayed that we whould have the same love for Him as He had for the Father.
    Scripture says the world will know we are disciples by our love for one another. Wow. Can they say that now? Do we honestly love our brothers? Do we demonstrate it?
    When I read the gospels, I’m convicted of how much Christ loved us, knowing we would hang Him on the cross and kill Him. I have trouble loving people that have hurt my feelings. – If we could just capture some of His love and share it with others…. we could turn our world upside down.
    (I’ll get off my soap box now…)

  2. Our “church” was the opposite, Leonard. There were lots of relationships. The IC had been gathering for almost 20 years, we had been there for about 16, and these people were family. That’s part of what made it hard for my wife to leave with me (the leading of the Spirit was more with me than her).
    Fortunately, we still have relationship with the families we were close to, some of them I have had the opportunity to share what I was learning, the others we just don’t talk about it. There were definitely some things that IC was doing right, but it just wasn’t enough for my search for authentic intimacy with Jesus and a Spiritual life.

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