Bible Society of South Africa
Carina Francke

Relationships – Day 1


Bible text(s)

13The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them.

John 15:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

15Then the man left and told the Jewish authorities that it was Jesus who had healed him.

The Authority of the Son

19So Jesus answered them, “I am telling you the truth: the Son can do nothing on his own; he does only what he sees his Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does.

17If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. 18Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.

Romans 12:17-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

Good and healthy relationships form the foundation of God’s plan for creation. From birth to death we live entangled in relationships. Stemming from a relationship with Him (which, by the way, He initiated), we are firstly man to Him but simultaneously also man to one another.

Healthy relationships require from us to firstly love the one and only God, the Lord who is one with every fibre of our being. However, equal in value and importance, is the love we should have for people (our “neighbour”) — a love that equals the way we love ourselves (Mark 12:29-31).

Jesus sets the example: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19). Then He says to his disciples: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). He proofs to them that they are his friends: “For everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

Not everyone we meet become our friends, but contact with people necessitates relationships at all levels. Working together with colleagues implies a working relationship (hopefully a good one); businesses flourish when a good relationship exists between owners, clients and suppliers; the cashier at the supermarket is a momentary transactional relationship. Then there is family — not all of them are necessarily your friends, but they are people you tend to treat in a different or special manner.

Despite the kind of relationships we are involved in, every confessing believer has the responsibility to obey what the Word teaches us: “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:17-18).

Ted Haggard summarises this truth very skilfully in his book, The Life-Giving Church: “Anything that God does in our lives, is unproven until it is tested in relationships.”

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