Two recent situations have me thinking a lot about relationships. Not the kind with a spouse or family member, but with others. How important are relationships?
My husband has worked for the same company for 23 years. He has a relationship with this company and many of the folks that work there. Recently, however, things have changed. Business is bad. People are being laid off and fired, and it looks like my husband has been targeted. The question I keep asking is, "Doesn't 23 years of hard work and loyalty count for anything? Doesn't his long-standing relationship with this company matter?" Apparently not.
I received an e-mail this week from someone I call a Brother in Christ about a situation that happened over a year ago. I disagreed with this Brother in the way a relationship within the Church Body was handled. To me, the relationship was the MOST important issue at stake, but my Brother didn't agree. He looked at the situation from a business perspective rather than from a relational perspective. But I can't help but ask, If we who call ourselves Christians can't work through relationship problems with our own Church Body, then how can we possibly deal with a world that is so totally against us? Where is the love and forgiveness and acceptance that we talk about? It isn't in business, that's for sure. Just look at my husband's situation.
These two situations raised one question: Do relationships matter to God?
So I asked Him that question.
Two answers immediately followed.
I had the car radio tuned to KLOVE, the Christian radio station I listen to. A woman called into the station to say this: "Relationships matter to God" and she went on to say that everyone should go see the movie "Fireproof", which is about relationships. I was completely amazed that she answered the question I'd just asked!
The second confirmation came about 15 minutes later. I was in Luke 10 today. Verses 38-42 tells the story of Mary and Martha. Martha is fretting about work and complains to Jesus that Mary isn't working. Jesus replies, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her."
Mary chose the RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. RELATIONSHIPS matter to Jesus! Isn't that what the Christian walk is all about? First our relationship with Jesus, then our relationship with others. "Love the the Lord" and "love your neighbor."