Relationships. What brings us together? What keeps us together? What makes us want to give up being together?
Perhaps it’s the often unspoken reality that we need relationships that draw us in in the first place. We were designed for them — designed to be involved in meaningful relationships with other human beings. So we begin to share our lives with others and take steps towards commitment and vulnerability.
Somewhere along the line, though, many of our relationships get tested. It’s easy to say when things get hard that the other person is the problem (it’s their issue, their anger, their hypocrisy, etc.). But the harsh reality most of the time is that we need to own a chunk of the responsibility too.
Selfishness, manifest in pointing the finger, in taking more than giving, in demanding my own way, is a sure-fire ingredient to destroy any relationship. It is self-absorption and self-dependence which prevents trust from developing, forgiveness being offered, commitment being forged.
Successful relationships are characterized not by each individual seeking his own way, but by the giving and receiving of love, by determining to work through problems, by withholding accusations and blaming.
If we don’t persevere in doing what’s necessary to draw more closely together, we’ll make all sorts of excuses to drift apart or stay apart or at best connect only briefly and superficially.
Perhaps the unwillingness of many to commit to a local church fellowship is a relational issue too.
Maybe it’s easier to make excuses than to face the reality of our need for others. Easier to make excuses than address our need to take risks and be vulnerable (again)
Sure, there are folks in the church that get on my nerves or seem like hypocrites. But then I remember that I get on some people’s nerves sometimes and am prone to hypocrisy as well.
Relationships and commitment develop not by perfect people coming together but by the will and the work to stay together. There’s no question in my mind that the effort is of inestimable worth.
— Brian Robertson is part of the leadership team of Christian Fellowship Centre in Qualicum Beach He can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.