I’m talking about relationships with fellow humans, real people with personal connections. Interaction that feels right and makes you a better person. Real people, honest people, humble people connecting and keeping those connections. Often we call these relationships friends. Have you any real friends?
Recent studies have found loneliness is becoming epidemic. Covid has made this much worse. In western culture, up to 70% of adults live alone. Is there anyone to talk to? In the same survey, they found 25% of people have no one to talk to, no one to share their personal problems with. If you excluded family members in this survey, the number rose to 50% of people who have no one to talk to about their lives and problems.
This is particularly painful when we understand that God created all of us for a relationship. The lack of meaningful human interaction literally brings a kind of death to the human spirit.
The most important relationship of our lives is how we relate to the Lord Jesus Christ. It sets the tone for how we live life and live with others—but this writing is not primarily about that. I’m talking about people relating to people.
There can be no healthy human relationships without truth. We will never have good friends without truth.
The strength of life is truth. Nothing of value or permanence can be built on a lie. Should I speak the truth to people no matter what the cost? Does honesty mean I say what I think all the time to everyone? How honest should we be with people?
There can be no healthy human relationships without truth. We will never have good friends without truth. Yet the Bible qualifies this value when it says truth should be “spoken in love.” Never should the truth be a weapon to be used against someone. Truth should not be a means of getting even or getting something off your chest.
The truth should be spoken with the other person in mind. Spoken with prayerful thought, choice words, and thinking of the other person first – yet still speaking the truth.
The real test of your relationship values is what happens if our truth is rejected. Do we cancel them from our lives or do we stay in a relationship with them? That’s when we find out what we really value. Sometimes action must be taken but bridges should not be burned.
All meaningful rewarding relationships will involve some personal sacrifice. As society changes to being more self-centred, people are less willing to sacrifice. Loneliness is the result of selfishness. “I just can’t find anyone I can completely trust or completely relax with or whom I completely respect!” We don’t have to completely agree about everything to be in relationship with people.
I suggest that as Christians, we live our lives uncompromisingly — and always be honest, yet not judging those who differ from us. We can call anyone a friend if grace is present in our lives.
How are your relationships? Are you talking to more people or fewer people in this pandemic? Do you know how to speak the truth in love?
Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Reading Plan: Exodus 7-13
Heavenly Father, help me to build relationships that last. Help me to have grace toward those who disagree with me or make relationship difficult. I pray that when needed, I will speak the truth in love, building bridges, and doing no harm.
Check on all of the people you are in a relationship with this week, even those with whom you’ve had problems with. Reconcile with those you need to, give grace to those who need it, but most of all show love to all of them. We are made for relationship! #Grace #Love #Truth