In creation, God pronounced everything, “Good!”
But when God saw Adam all alone, he said, “That’s not good!”
If being alone wasn’t good for Adam, it’s not good for us either.
We were created for relationship with God and with other human beings.
Studies have shown that persons who are alone and isolated have three to five times risk of premature death compared to those who have a sense of connection with others. We need close meaningful relationships to be truly healthy!
But when it comes to relationships, we all could use some help.
I don’t know if there really is a course entitled, “Relationships” 101,
but there should be!
Meanwhile, I’d like to share something that has helped me.
It’s called: “The Five P’s”
Put persons first. (Don’t let money, career, projects or hobbies take the place of relationships.)
Provide safety in your conversations with others. (Allow persons to express their thoughts and feelings without the fear of being ridiculed or put on the defensive.)
Practice empathy with people. (Make it a practice to see persons in their need.)
Pick your inner circle of friends wisely. (Spend time with persons who celebrate you rather than merely tolerate you. Spend time with persons who will walk in when everyone else has walked out. Spend time with persons who will speak the truth to you in love and hold you accountable.)
Pursue the more excellent way! (The more excellent way is the way of love.)
All of us have failed and fallen short in our relationship with God and others.
But the good news is that relational health in the end is not something we
achieve but rather is a gift from God. There is one word that we always need to remember when it comes to relationships. That word is: “Grace.”
Polly and I are learning that grace is something we both need to give and receive everyday. We can do it because God gives us daily grace!
Here’s good news…God gives you daily grace too!
So, everyone in class today passes! You are now a graduate of “Relationships” 101.
In this thing with you,
Professor H. William Green