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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Relational Living

"The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'"1

It is good to remind ourselves that God created mankind primarily for relationships from which come eighty percent of life's satisfaction. To live meaningfully we need to be in meaningful relationships, without which life can be very empty and lonely.

If we don't know how to relate in healthy ways, we don't know how to live fully, and we can impair both our mental and physical health as a result. Or another way to put it: to fully live we need to fully love!

It helps us to remember that God Himself is in relationship through the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). Also, Jesus started the Christian movement with relationships: "He [Jesus] appointed twelve...that they might be with Him."2

Furthermore, practically all of Christ's ministry was done while in relationship with His twelve disciples.

As a Christian, our first need is to keep in a right relationship with God, which begins by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. Trying to live the Christian life without this is like trying to go east by traveling west.

We then need close, healthy relationships with people. Only then can we realize some of the deepest longings of the human heart. This doesn't mean that we are to be over-dependent on others, codependent with them, or independent from them, but interdependent with them.

The reality is that we need people. Barbra Streisand expressed it well in the song: "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world."

Furthermore, the degree of our mental health, emotional maturity, and spiritual well-being will be reflected in the health of our close relationships. God's command to "love one another" is not a sentimental suggestion. It's an imperative.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, please help me first of all to have a right relationship with You and then to resolve any character issues in my life that may hinder my having healthy relationships with others. Help me to love You and others more fully and myself in a healthy way. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. Genesis 2:18 (NIV).
2. Mark 3:14 (NIV).

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