Monday, October 31, 2011

Godly relationships that last

I have been thinking a lot about relationships and how we ( as humans) interact with each other. I can't help but wonder why some relationships fizzle down the drain after they have previously flourished. Why do families fight and separate? Why do friends get mad at each other and dissipate? Why do Christians fight and bicker? People who once loved and cherish each other are now worse enemies. People who once thought highly of each other are now gossiping behind each other backs and putting each other down. Why? How does it come to this? I have seen it where Christians, who were once friends, break off and start praying against each other. Um, I don't think God is going to answer those prayers from either side. Even if one is right ( so to speak)  That is the other thing. Human beings have to be right about everything. The only thing in this world that is right and never goes wrong is the WORD OF THE LIVING GOD.  If I am quoting and living by His word , I can never go wrong.  Oh another thought, I know I am being random but it has a purpose. We use the word of God against each other when we break off our relationships. Now I am not talking about obvious sins. I am talking about finding a verse that makes us feel right about the situation. It is funny and sad to see at times. I believe we have all done it one time or another. As human beings, we seem to gravitate to those who agree with us. We surround ourselves with people who will tell us what we want to hear and make us feel good inside. This is a sign of immaturity plus low self-esteem. Trust me I have been there. This is also a sign of a shallow relationship. People want shallow relationships because they can keep all their hurts and pains that they are accustomed too.  Ouch, I just touched a nerve from one of you readers didn't I? Well don't feel bad. It hit me too.

I believe there is a higher plain we should be going in our relationships with each other. Guess what? God designed for us to be closer than what we really are. Family is supposed to be close and the friends we inhabit are supposed to be just as close. There is a bond that Holy Spirit desires to bring between us. This bond can send demons to flight. It can overcome any obstacle. It can direct the angels of God for our behalf, and it brings an unshakable unity among the body of Christ.  It sounds to good to be true right? I sound like a late night infomercial. " If you call now within the next few minutes not only will you get one unbreakable relationship bond for $9.99 but we will throw in a second unbreakable relationship bond for free."  Well I am here to say that there is something more going on than an infomercial on your TV.  God created us to be relational but relational in a godly sense not a human sense.


Genesis 4:6-10  Then the LORD asked Cain, "Why are you angry, and why do you look disappointed?  (7)  If you do well, won't you be accepted? But if you don't do well, sin is lying outside your door ready to attack. It wants to control you, but you must master it."  (8)  Cain talked to his brother Abel. Later, when they were in the fields, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.  (9)  The LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he answered. "Am I supposed to take care of my brother?"  (10)  The LORD asked, "What have you done? Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground.

The human idea of relationship is " If you don't agree with me then you are out of my life or if I am jealous over you then I will just kill you." Look at the first relationship spat in the Bible. Able was following the Lord with his whole heart. Cain was just a slacker Christian. Able seemed to have a great relationship with God and Cain did not. Cain got jealous over his brother and decided to remove the competition from the equation. One day, he simply killed his brother in cold blood and tried to cover up the crime scene. He forgot that Daddy God is the original CSI expert. This is the fleshy , sinful answer for people in relationships. If I think you are against me then see ya! Wow how shallow is that!

I have tried , over the years, to surround myself with people who challenge me. I have some who will call me out on things. My youth pastor and I were close but he was also the first one to call me out if I was doing something wrong. My boss at work calls me out sometimes and I am grateful for his honesty. I do the same to him. It is funny to watch. My past relationship with my mentor and Friend Glenn was this way to. I am forever grateful to his love and insight. We don't always have to agree. In fact this is what makes a healthy and strong relationship. Who wants a bunch of  " YES" men around them?  
( Obama, Senators, Congressmen and women, some bosses, people who don't want to face their own short comings, me sometimes when I don't want to face my own closet skeletons,  oh wait a minute my inside voice accidental transferred onto this blog. Argggggg!) I think you get the point.

Jonathan and David were a biblical example of a godly relationship. They were very close during a time where Jonathan could be killed for just being seen with David. (  If loving you is wrong , I don't want to be right.... [ Sorry song in my head]) Jonathan was the son of the first King of Israel Saul. He was a warrior and loved his countrymen. Jonathan and David's relationship kicks off right after David finished killing Goliath.

1 Samuel 17:56-58  The king said, "Find out whose son this young man is."  (57)  When David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner brought him to Saul. David had the Philistine's head in his hand.  (58)  Saul asked him, "Whose son are you, young man?" "The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem," David answered.
1 Samuel 18:1-5  David finished talking to Saul. After that, Jonathan became David's closest friend. He loved David as much as he loved himself.  (2)  (From that day on Saul kept David as his servant and didn't let him go back to his family.)  (3)  So Jonathan made a pledge of mutual loyalty with David because he loved him as much as he loved himself.  (4)  Jonathan took off the coat he had on and gave it to David along with his battle tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.  (5)  David was successful wherever Saul sent him. Saul put him in charge of the fighting men. This pleased all the people, including Saul's officials.


Jonathan and David had a mutual understanding with each other. They both loved their nation and were willing to die for it. They both were chosen by God for a purpose. Do you know how close they became? They became like brothers. Blood brothers even.  The Native Americans have a history of following Blood Brother rituals. The two men would cut the palm of their hands and mix the blood together by shaking each others hands. This meant that their two families would forever be indebted to each. My childhood friend Rob Taylor and I did this when we were kids. Except we were too chicken to cut each other. We just spit on each others hands and shook. Funny I know but I consider Rob to be a brother to me and his mom is my second mom. My friends Billy Threatt, Tom Kalianov and Brian Norton are probably the next people I would say who come close to this type of relationship.

Jonathan and David became close brothers even though they were not actual family members. Jonathan became like a mentor to David as well considering David was about 16 at this time and Jonathan was about 40. Their relationship lasted even into their descendants. Look at what David did after he became king and Jonathan had already passed away.

2 Samuel 9:1-13  David asked, "Is there anyone left in Saul's family to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?"  (2)  Now, Saul's family had a servant whose name was Ziba. He was summoned to come to David. "Are you Ziba?" the king asked him. "Yes, I am," he answered.  (3)  David asked, "Is there someone left in Saul's family to whom I can show God's kindness?" "Jonathan has a son who is disabled," Ziba answered.  (4)  "Where is he?" the king asked. Ziba replied, "He is at the home of Machir, Ammiel's son, in Lo Debar."  (5)  So King David sent men to get him from the home of Ammiel's son Machir in Lo Debar.  (6)  When Mephibosheth (son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul) came to David, he quickly bowed down with his face touching the ground. "Mephibosheth!" David said to him. "Yes, sir," he answered.  (7)  "Don't be afraid," David told him, "I will certainly show you kindness for your father Jonathan's sake. I will give back to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table."  (8)  Mephibosheth bowed down again and answered, "Who am I that you would look at a dead dog like me?"  (9)  Then the king called for Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, "I have given your master's grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.  (10)  You, your sons, and your servants should farm the land for him and harvest the crops so that your master's family will have food to eat. However, your master's grandson Mephibosheth will always eat at my table." (Ziba had 15 sons and 20 servants.)  (11)  Ziba responded, "I will do everything you've commanded, Your Majesty." From then on, Mephibosheth ate at David's table as one of the king's sons.  (12)  Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. Everyone who lived at Ziba's home became Mephibosheth's servant.  (13)  However, Mephibosheth, who was disabled, lived in Jerusalem. He always ate at the king's table.


This is a true bond ladies and gentlemen! Two men who loved each other in God's way. Two men who were closer than brothers. Two men who had a bond of friendship which was passed on to their descendants.Two men who had a godly relationship which was not perverted by sin.  This is the purpose of God!!! This is the true meaning of relationships! We are called to this!!! I said we are called to this!!!!  So how can we obtain it?


Getting a godly relationship that lasts:

1. Don't surround yourself with "YES MEN"
2. Find common ground
3. Understand that there are different levels of relationships ( Jesus had the 70, the 12, and the 3)
4. Be loyal to each other
5. Make a blood covenant. ( Don't cut yourself but make a covenant with each other)
6. Be brutally honest with each other.
7. Work past differences ( not sin differences, don't ever make an excuse for blantant sin)
8. Fight beside each other through the tough times.
9. Stand up for each other.
10. Put God in the center.
11. Share the ugliest secrets with each other. ( This is something men don't do today)
12. Understand that relationship building is risky but worth it.
13. Forgive each other
14. Pray together
15. Allow Holy Spirit to lead it and sustain it.
16. Pass it on to the descandants.
17. Take care of one another. ( Give your resources to each other)
18. Keep the bond alive and make it organic for others to see.

We can have godly relationships with our family members or friends if we so desire. It is up to us. Now I am talking about relationships that are God directed. We are not called to be friends or have this type of relationship with everyone on the planet. However, I would say Christians should be the example to the world of how to have these type of relationships. We should be close with each other in our churches. We should birth godly relationships with those who come within our sphere of influence. It is the GOD-WAY!!!!


Blessing to all!!!

Johnny

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