What Does a Positive Relationship Look Like?
This week, Josh talked about the purpose and core of relationships. How bringing other people into the community is equally as important as including yourself. The stories he told all led to two conclusions: anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation, and no one is too far from this salvation.
In these stories, we see Christ’s compassion toward sinners and His power to change our hearts. We see that there is no one that God’s grace cannot reach and Jesus is always prepared to save those who are ready to receive Him. Zacchaeus was faced with these truths when he was face-to-face with Jesus. His heart was made clean by the spirit of God and showed evidence of a spiritual miracle.
Healthy relationships require separation. They happen when two people come together to share their life, not to blend into one life. When Jesus went to Zacchaeus’s house, He stepped into Zacchaeus’s life to share with him information that would cause a change in the posture of Zacchaeus’s heart. Jesus walked out with a new relationship. However, he did not go to Zacchaeus’s house to adopt the ways of Zacchaeus and fall into a blended identity. Jesus did not start to be made in Zacchaeus’s image, or “their” image. He was careful, but loving towards Zacchaeus.
In relationships, people need to face the same direction, but not at each other. When Jesus went to Zacchaeus, Jesus turned Zacchaeus’s head to face the same way he was facing. Jesus pointed him to a new life and the understanding that God has rule and value over every false idol we worship.
If Jesus would’ve been looking and judging Zacchaeus for who he was, they would not have made progress toward a change. In the same way, if we judge people and label them “unsavable,” we can’t make progress with them and we tend to close our minds to them. It’s important to love people as Jesus did and be intentional with our actions.
This summer, I challenge you to challenge yourself. Reflect on the way Element changed your heart this year, and set goals for yourself to continue to worship, serve, and grow through the summer. I challenge you to love people as Jesus did, serve people as Jesus did, and include people in community as Jesus did.
Author: Myah Brown