by Randy Schroeder
Please see last week's blog for the backdrop to this one.
We discussed last time that we were created with a need for a relationship with God and people, which is why God told us in the Great Commandment to love God and love people. The second half of that commandment does not make sense if I am supposed to declare that all I need is God. So what is it that we need?
There are a lot of things, but to start with, we need an intimate relationship with God that launches with the forgiveness of our sins through our total acceptance of what Jesus did on the cross, as we see in John 1:12. A great list of our needs is found in the "one another" passages of the New Testament. It is the place where we see God meeting needs in our life which must mean that it's okay to have those needs. For example Romans 15:7 says to accept one another as you have been accepted by God in Christ. So evidently we must have a valid, legitimate need for acceptance and that need is not only met by Christ but also people. Another example of this can be found in 2 Corinthians 1:3 where God says that he is the God of all comfort so that we may comfort others with the same comfort that we receive from Him. So I have a need, and God is the supply line for that need. After tasting the goodness of God in Him meeting that need, I pass on the goodness of God by meeting that same need in my wife, children, and friends. Of course they too will be involving both God and people in this process.
This need for comfort is one of the hardest to implement I have found. Most of us don't naturally see God as a compassionate, comforting God. We tend to see Him as an examining, evaluating God, or a distant, uninvolved God. Rom 12:15 says to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Doesn't that imply that God is also doing what He is telling us to do. So you and I have a God that has great compassion at the point of our pain. And He wants us to represent Him well by doing the same for others. But my tendency with family and friends, is to throw Bible verses and truth at their pain. Rather than respond heart to heart, I respond to their heart with my head. It is a huge battle of the enemy to keep us from accurately representing the heart of God in the world and especially with our spouses. Sometimes I wonder if Satan doesn't care if we accurately represent the mind of God as long as he can get us to misrepresent the heart of God. Of course he goes after both. For me all of this started with a repentance from the self reliant, independent, all I need is God mindset, that kept me emotionally distant from my wife and kids and friends.
May we represent you well in this world, Father.