To Be or Not to Be
"Then He [Jesus] appointed twelve that they might be with Him."1
God is not into religion. He's into relationships. That is, his goal for you and me is that we be in healthy relationships both with him and with one another.
God himself is in relationship as the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Being created in the image of God we, too, were created for relationships. Furthermore, Christianity began in relationships when, at the beginning of his earthly ministry, Jesus chose the twelve disciples "that they might be with him."
As another has said, "To be is to be in relationship" without which we limp along in the shadows of life with an empty hole in our heart. It may not be most desirable, but we can live a fulfilling life without being in a romantic relationship, but we cannot fully live, let alone fully love, unless we have a healthy relationship with at least one other loving person … preferably with more than one. To be in relationship is to be open, vulnerable, and known as we really are, for we can only ever be loved and truly relate to others to the degree that we are known. As long as we hide behind a mask, we can never feel loved nor can we relate because masks can't relate.
In his book, The Transparent Self, Sydney Jourard said, "Every maladjusted person is someone who has not made himself known to another human being and in consequence he does not know himself. Nor can he be himself. More than that, he struggles actively to avoid becoming known by another human being. He works ceaselessly at it day and night. And it is work!"
True relationship begins with being ruthlessly honest with one's self and with God—and then with at least one other honest, loving, and trustworthy friend.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be an authentic person—honest with myself, with you and with at least one other trustworthy friend so that I will learn to be the person you envisioned for me to be and therein discover how to fully live and fully love in loving relationships. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Mark 3:14 (NKJV).