The quality of your relationship will determine the quality of your life. Success and happiness in life have a lot to do with the people you associate with. I wish it were not so. Sometimes, I think it’s unfair that my relationship affects what I get out of life. Don’t I have the right to keep to myself? Why must my progress be tied to relationship with others? Over time, I’ve stopped asking such questions. I’ve come to understand the wisdom of accepting the way certain things are set up. Just as I wouldn’t contemplate rearranging the seasons, I need to accept that it’s a waste of time to try and change some other set-ups. This refined mindset has made a dramatic change in my life.
You’ve probably heard the maxim: “You are the same person you are today as you will be in five years, the difference is in the people you meet and the books you read.” I agree with the maxim in its entirety. I have no doubt that man was created for relationships otherwise Adam (the first created man) wouldn’t have got a companion (Eve). If we consider the fact that we meet people (characters) on the pages of the books we read, we can actually say that the difference in the person we are today and any future time period is in the people we meet.
In his book: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell documented a research study that established the fact that primates – monkeys, chimps, baboons, humans – have the biggest brains of all mammals. The reason for their much larger brains relative to other mammals is that primates (especially humans) have rather complex social groups to manage. Mr. Gladwell wrote: “Humans socialize in the largest groups of all primates because we are the only mammals with brains large enough to handle the complexities of that social arrangement.” I find this very instructive. It means that if I am not deliberately building relationships, I am under-utilizing my innate potentials. Worse still, when I keep to myself, I miss out on immense benefits that would have accrued to me if I had dared to enlarge my circle of influence.
I’ve received countless unsolicited favours from friends. Why some of them did such favours is still a mystery to me. There’s no point trying to explain why friends do favours for one another other than to say that’s the way it is. People do things for their friends just because they are friends. A note of warning: Don’t manipulate someone into becoming your friend because of what you will gain. It doesn’t work. The secret of quality friendship is to seek to be a friend – just love people from your heart. Consider that it’s a commandment to love. It’s in your best interest to let your love toward others be genuine because you’ll be found out if it’s not. It’s impossible to fake genuine interest for a reasonable length of time.
There are two kinds of relationships you should have: A relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ and relationship with other human beings. Jesus said the two great commandments are: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. The second commandment, which is like the first, is ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’” (paraphrased). All other commandments are hinged on these two. The benefits of human relationship are immense but it pales in significance when compared with what we gain from our relationship with God. I will now expatiate on what’s in it for you when you develop a relationship with Christ.
In Matthew 16 verse 15, Jesus asked His disciples, “…Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are Christ the son of the living God.” Jesus was highly impressed by Peter’s submission. He then made the most profound statement about the benefits of knowing who He really is. Jesus said to Peter: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah… And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church… And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven… (Matthew 16 verses 17 and19).
When you know and have a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ, you become a potential beneficiary of some benefits of unimaginable proportions. First is empowerment for prosperity. To be blessed is to be empowered to prosper. When you know Christ, you’re translated from lack to abundance. In Deuteronomy 8 verse 18, we read: “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth…” The prosperity referred to here is of manifold dimension: prosperity of the spirit, soul and body (3 John verse 2).
The second benefit is stability. Rock stands for stability. When you know Christ, you become stable. Nothing moves you. You’re not tossed by every wind of doctrine because you know whom you have believed. You know that He is faithful and that He will do what He says He will do. Based on this knowledge of Him, you become immovable.
When you’re stable, you become a veritable foundation on which God can build others. Somehow, you recognize that the reason God is prospering you is not solely for you. It’s so that others can be strengthened through you. In Luke 22 verses 31 and 32, Jesus told Peter how Satan had asked for Peter so that he (Satan) may trouble him and cause him to deny his faith. But Jesus said He already prayed against Satan’s desire for Peter. Jesus’ final charge to Peter was for him to strengthen his brothers (other believers) when his faith has been restored.
Lastly, when you have a revelation of who Jesus is, you receive authority. You gain control over the situations of life. By virtue of your relationship with Christ, the entire world becomes your domain such that you can determine what goes on here. One Bible character that personified all the benefits highlighted above was Abraham. He knew God and believed Him. As a consequence, he was blessed and he became a blessing to others. He also received authority. For instance, because of Abraham’s relationship with God, he was consulted before Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. God gave him the opportunity to plead for the preservation of the city. What an influence!
When I think of the access to divine blessing, stability / solid foundation and authority, I believe it’s foolhardy for anyone to disparage having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Human relationships are superb but nothing compares to a relationship with Christ. Interestingly, when you know who Christ is and you enter into a relationship with Him, your human relationships are better enhanced. If you don’t know Him, make that decision today!