Which relationship is the most important relationship to a person? Some may say the parent-child relationship, or the teacher-student relationship, or the employer-employee relationship depending on the perspective and world view that you hold. Well, I say all those are secondary to the most important relationship, which is our relationship with God. In this article I endeavour to communicate just how crucial a relationship with God is to your relationship with your fellow man.
According to Google,“morality is a set of principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.” In our societies, whether the dominant belief system is Christian, Muslim, Atheistic or otherwise, there are laws and social norms that dictate what is right and what is wrong.There are also social responses and attitudes toward good and bad behaviour.
From a Christian perspective, what we understand to be right or wrong is determined by the Bible. The underlying premise that the Bible uses to determine right or wrong is whether the action hurts the individual or their neighbour. If an action, or thought is not harmful in any way to individual or neighbour then God tends not to outlaw that action or thought. There are laws in the Bible that seem harmless from our perspective,but God is known to be much wiser than we are and so it is in his great wisdom that he determines how we ought to relate to ourselves and each other.
The Bible is split into 2 eras.The Old Testament (OT) documents all the major happenings of the era before Jesus Christ was born, while the New Testament (NT) documents the most important happenings of the era post the birth and life of Jesus Christ.There are stark differences and similarities between the OT andNT. There are laws from the OT that carry over into the NT like laws against adultery, stealing, murder and envy. At the same time there are laws of the OT that are no longer upheld in the NT like laws regarding food, clothing, animal sacrifice and the day of rest (Sabbath). However, the premise of all laws given to us by God is love, the love he has for us and the love he wants us to have for each other.
Understanding that love is the basis of the Bible (Romans chapter 13, verse 8) and is at the very core of who God is (1 John chapter 4, verse 8) has a powerful impact on thosewho choose to follow Jesus. Because now our morality is not just determined by what the law of the land stipulates or what societal norms dictate, our morality is determined by what the Bible says about love.
Each of us who have an active relationship with Jesus should be treating people as Jesus would if he were in our position. This is by no means easy for we are humans who get tired, moody, frustrated and hurt in the day to day happenings of life and these things influence us to behave in a manner that is out of character in comparison with Christ. Yet, we thrive to become more and more like Christ daily and this in turn enables us to have better and better relationships.
The fear of God
Many men and women want a spouse that loves them with their whole heart, someone that loves themenough not to cheat or abuse them. This desire though understandable is misplaced because, it is not a lack of love that causes spouses to cheat or abuse each other, rather it is a lack of respect for God. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”(Proverbs chapter1, verse 7).What we should desire more than a partner that loves us deeply is a partner that loves God even more. Because it is a deep reverence for God that will help restrain a person from dishonouring their spouse when things get very hard.
A person can vow to be loyal to you in happy times, but the test of their commitment comes when the relationship encounters rough seas. Without a strong sense of commitment and a deep fear of God people can easily be swayed toward leaving or cheating on their spouse, which is why cheating is becoming more common nowadays among other reasons.More people are losing respect for God because He has chosen to overlook our offences and show us mercy. But don’t be deceived, even though He is gracious He is also just and will give us exactly what we deserve when the time comes around.
Love as Jesus loves
Many people have all sorts of definitions for love that all sound good but are not all true. The ultimate love that has ever been known by mankind is the love of Jesus toward us. It is amazing how He in his sovereignty and splendour made himself a servant to His own creation.He suffered and died by our hands just to pay the penalty for our sin. Jesus’ story is one in where the hero makes the ultimate sacrifice for the villain.
This is how we need to love each other. I know it can be difficult when faced with a loved one who gets on your nerves or refuses to meet your needs or has betrayed your trust. Our natural inclination is to be selfish when confronted by another person’s selfishness. So, it is crucial for us to have an active relationship with God so that He can help us to extend to others the same grace He extends to us.
Darren Salmon is a young man from Kingston, Jamaica where he read for his Bachelor of Science degree in BioTechnology at the University of West Indies. He became a follower of Jesus when he was 10 and has since developed a ministry of Christian Poetry for which he has gained a godly reputation. Darren is husband to the lovely Mrs. Kimberley Salmon (previously Morgan), another talented young writer with Christian Today. Darren is a joint 1st place recipient of the Tronson award for international young writers with Christian Today for the year 2019. To read Darren’s previous articles visit his weebly site at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/darren-salmon.html