Theme for the Week: Relationships
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one… (John 17:22, ESV)
This week we will be exploring relationships. You may be familiar with Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs. The List includes:
- Physiological needs
- Safety needs
- Love and belonging
The first two things on that list are a matter of life and death. They are of first importance. But you will notice that the third thing on the list is “love and belonging.” It would be easy to dismiss this need as a matter of life and death, but if we understand the true importance of this need, we will recognize it just may be a matter of life and death.
Consider this statement from the US Surgeon General:
“The greatest public health crisis in America is not cancer or heart disease. It’s social isolation. Loneliness.” – Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General of the United States
Isolation from others will lead to a whole host of problems:
“Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day; loneliness, research suggests, is twice as deadly as obesity. Dementia, high blood pressure, alcoholism and accidents – all these, like depression, paranoia, anxiety and suicide, become more prevalent when connections are cut. We cannot cope alone.” – George Monbiot (Journalist)
Maybe you saw the movie Castaway. Tom Hanks plays, Chuck Noland, a FedEx employee who is stranded on a deserted island after a plane crash. Without anyone around, he finds companionship in a volleyball he names Wilson. The extreme isolation leads him to put his life at risk on the open sea for the slim chance he might find civilization.
When we see a person who commits a violent crime, we will often find that the person was isolated from others. The people interviewed on the news will describe him as a social outcast, living on the fringe, and who kept to himself. In other words, a loner!
Love and belonging are more important than we realize. This is because:
God created us as relational beings
When God created humankind, this is what he said:
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”” (Genesis 2:18, ESV)
Notice he said that it is not good that man should be alone. It is part of creating humankind in his image because God himself exists in relationship.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. (Genesis 1:26, ESV)
There is the Trinity Godhead. God is one God in three persons. There is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Hebrew word for God is Elohim. The construction of the word itself is plural. There is plurality in this single God. As God himself lives relationally, he creates us to live relationally.
When Jesus came to this earth, he ministered to thousands of people. But he still kept close at hand 12 close companions to do life together. God wired us for connection. And when we are disconnected, we will short-circuit. There are great dangers when we don’t live as God created us to live.
With all this in mind, we will turn our attention this week to discovering deeper and more intimate relationships.
- Monday – People
- Tuesday – Grace
- Wednesday – Forgiveness
- Thursday – Adventure
- Friday – Respect
- Saturday – Accountability