Charles Schulz once said (through his cartoon character Charlie Brown) "I love mankind...it's people I can't stand" The reason this resonates with us is that we have all felt and experienced it. We know exactly what he means.
PEOPLE!...are the toughest thing about living. It's hard lving with them and it's hard to living without them. Our relationships with people--our parents, our families, our husbands and wives, our children, our relatives, our friends and acquaintances, our neighbors...are complicated and distressing.
No suprise then that this is the single, thorniest problem of the Christian life. The Bible is clear: the Christian life is all about relationships - our relationship with God, our relationships with fellow Christians, and our relationships with non-Christians - and community--.
The problem with most of our churches boils down to relationships. In fact, the entire Christian life is about relationships--it's the reason Christ died for us--but when you look at most christians in most churches, you will find that it's all to often about power, politics, money, self-promotion, hierarchy, the 'mission statement', programs, and other essentially meaningless endeavors. Relationships are neither valued nor fostered.
The purposes of God can be described as ‘relational’. The outcome of all of history is that we gather around the throne of Jesus as our kingly friend, with God as our father—not as our judge. God ‘manages’ his time in terms of relationships, not in terms of ‘time for its own sake’.
All of life is relational—that is how God created it.
Christians should be arguing for seeing life as a set of relationships to be brought under the authority of the gospel of Jesus Christ—the prime relationship.
Faith is about relationships, living the Christian life is about relationships, our relationships with God and with each other. Faith is about the commitments we carry for each other and for the community of faith to which we are called.
Again the Bible is clear: the Christian life is about relationships - our relationship with God, our relationships with fellow Christians, and our relationships with non-Christians - and community.