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The Right Relationships

We all have role models. Whether we can formally identify who they are or say to others, “I want to be like that person,” we are all patterning our personal decisions, interactions, and convictions after others with whom we have significant contact. To be sure, we are individuals with unique characteristics but we have developed that uniqueness by borrowing from others.
I decided early in my adult life that one of the people I should add to my list of role models is Jesus. It seemed like a strange thought at first because He is so much better, so much smarter, and so much more powerful than I could ever hope to be. He did, however, live a human life. He experienced hunger and friendship and family. He also said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15) The context is specifically regarding serving others since He just washed their feet but the principle applies to all of life.
One of the characteristics of Jesus I want to emulate in my life is having right relationships. In Isaiah 11:2, we see that Jesus has authority partly because He strategically relates to the most important aspects of life. As I follow Him, it is my goal to develop these also:
Right relationship with my decisions: “The Spirit of wisdom and of understanding [will rest on him].” I make so many decisions every day I take them for granted. I have choices about what I will wear, what I will eat, how I will organize my day, how I exercise, what my attitude will be from moment to moment, what step I will take in personal development, and so on. A friend of mine is known for consistently repeating the phrase, “We make our choices and our choices make us.” Each of these decisions goes much better if I have wisdom and understanding to know both what I should and how I should do it.
Right relationship with others: “The Spirit of counsel and of might [will rest on him].” Every relationship on earth is flawed since it is the interaction of two imperfect people. Sometimes human relationships need a soft touch of grace, patience, and humility. People need time to grow and freedom to operate with their imperfections. At other times, relationships need leverage and confrontation. People can be stubborn, unwilling, or blind to what they are doing and need to be confronted with “might.” It is not easy to figure out but it makes all the difference when you get it right.
Right relationship with God: “The Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD [will rest on him].” God is more than an idea, more than a religious notion, and more than a passive Creator. He is a living, thinking, feeling person. To be sure, He is way beyond us in all categories but He set up life so that we could interact with Him. It takes knowledge to get it right. There is so much about God that we will never figure out on our own. It requires us seeking Him and Him responding with revelation for us to discover the truth about His majesty, power, presence, wisdom, eternal nature, love, etc. Because He is infinite, there is no end to everything about Him. Relating to Him, therefore, always involves discovery. It also takes reverence to get it right. Amazingly, God created a way for us to be adopted family members and friends with Him. It is not an equal partnership, however. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and one day “every knee [will] bow . . . and every tongue [will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
Jesus, give us grace this week to have the kind of relationships with our decisions, with others and with God the Father that you had when you walked this earth.

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