Designed For Relationships
– by Michelle du Toit
“Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:5-6
We meet people every day as we go about our lives, circles of people making consecutively larger rings. Smaller circles of those close to us, and outer rings who are acquaintances. We meet them at work, school, functions, church, and friendship groups, etc. Designed in God’s image, we are designed for relationships. Every day we are given opportunities to explore relationships with people who cross our paths, or not. People watch how we live, listen to what we say, and observe how we do life. Everyday there is opportunity to influence. Are we intentional about building relationships within our circles of influence?
Jesus’ relationships reflected a series of circles in which He influenced. There were the three, i.e. Peter, James, and John, the rest of the disciples (12), the 72 and then the multitudes. Jesus was intentional about spending focused time with the people closest to Him. Each day He taught and trained the disciples and at certain times would spend focused time with a few individuals. It was the three on the mountain to pray and in Luke 10:38-42, Jesus was not going to reprimand Mary when she chose to sit at His feet. Jesus intentionally spent time ministering as He moved along, demonstrating an “as-you-go” ministry. Going to the ruler’s house, He stopped to minister to the bleeding woman. (Matt 9:18-26). Jesus was intentional about what He wanted to do with His time on earth. He knew that He was going to the Cross for man’s salvation and He wanted His followers to understand the significance of His death and resurrection, so that the message could go out to all mankind. (Matt 28:16-20.) We should be intentional about our relationships too. We can have a significant influence for the Kingdom in our circles of influence. Spending time with significant others imparting our love for Jesus and His ways?
JOY! Magazine (July 2017)