I am so thankful to have so many kind people in my life. I have some of the best relationships with family and friends and coworkers and I am so thankful for all of them. I used to take these relationships for granted but the truth is that all relationships require effort to be maintained.
I had relatively good relationships before I committed to God, although for full transparency, all of my relationships suffered from neglect when I wrapped my identity in my job. With that said, I have seen some friendships really transform and bloom with family and friends who share a common faith with me. Our shared faith has truly made us brothers and sisters in Christ and has given these relationships an additional level of closeness/intimacy I didn’t know existed. This isn’t saying anything negative about other relationships but is highlighting that for me there is a closer relationship with those that share faith.
I love knowing that I have numerous people who I can share my struggles with or send prayer requests and know that will act on it. I like knowing that I have friends who will hold me accountable to the faith I profess. I like sharing how God is working in my life and being encouraged by how God is working in their life too.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” -2 Corinthians 6:14
The Bible talks about our relationships with believers and nonbelievers. I’d always wondered why we were warned not to pair up with nonbelievers and while I know some of it is because people have a tendency to be pulled down, I wonder if some of it is simply because of the additional intimacy that exists when you share a common faith.
Jesus was pretty close with his disciples but there are a few who shared several significant spiritual moments with Him. They shared a fellowship with Him that the others didn’t. I can only speculate why but I notice that they stay close through the end. I am sure most of you think of Peter and yes, that is one of the disciples I am referring to. Peter wasn’t the first disciple called but he is the one that is always seen with Jesus and whom is called by Jesus to take care of His sheep (see John 21:15-17). I also see James and John with Jesus a lot. All the disciples are with Him but when Jesus goes to pray at Gethsemane, he brings Peter, James and John with Him, while the others stay at a distance.” (Mark 14:32-33).
Jesus knows how relationships among people work. He knows that they can be complicated and He knows that there are varying levels of closeness. He gets it and He wants to help us. He knows that our lives aren’t going to be easy and that we need people. In the letter of Hebrews, we’re reminded to meet together as believers to encourage each other.
“…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…”
– Hebrews 10:25
Jesus knows that we need each other both as people and as a church. We could do it alone but that was never what God intended. He made us to have relationships. We’re called to have a relationship with God, with our brothers and sisters in Christ and with nonbelievers. These relationships are all different but are all important, which is why the Bible addresses these topics.
How have your relationships changed with your faith? Are there any verses that helped you understand certain relationships? As always, I love hearing from y’all!