A few months ago, my grandfather passed away after a sudden decline in his health. Although God was a great source of peace, comfort and strength for my family during that time, there was still a lot of grief that came over us as we said goodbye to one of the greatest men we had ever known. But one important lesson it taught me is that life is short, and we never know when someone we love might be taken from us. It also made me appreciate the value of my relationships… My relationship with God, with my family, and with my friends.
Relationships can be a great source of healing and comfort as they help us realize that we are not alone in our struggles and our suffering. They also bring joy and happiness into our lives as we experience the sincerity of a smile, the warmness of a hug or the surprise phone call from a friend or loved one at a time when we need it most. There is a reason why God intended for there to be community and fellowship amongst his followers, and I believe He designed the church to be a foundation on which lasting relationships are formed and established. It is a place where we can come together and share our praises with each other, but also our express our needs and our concerns.
But out of all the relationships we value in life, our relationship with God should be number one. In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” When we have a deep and personal relationship with God, it will naturally help us to “love our neighbors” and have healthy relationships with our family, friends and people in general. It will also make us more appreciative of our fellowship with other believers.
The beginning of a new year is always a great time to evaluate things about your life and set new goals and resolutions. So I challenge everyone who is reading this to ask yourself these two questions:
1) How are you doing in your relationship with God? With Family? With Friends?
2) Which of these relationships would you like to work on more this year?
Now make a commitment to do it!