Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Our World of Relationships

by Donna L. Watkins

The Bible teaches that it is not good for man to live alone (Gen. 2:18). With email, Skype, cell phones, and so many ways of communicating you'd think that loneliness would now be eradicated. Yet there are millions who feel alone.

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Hydrangea - 'All Summer Beauty'
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Research shows information has replaced communication. People inform, they don't communicate with time spent focused on each other. But being with people has little to do with being lonely. Some of the loneliest people live and work in a world full of people. It's not being alone that makes one lonely, it's the inability to connect on a heart level that keeps us isolated in our own inner world.

Fear of rejection, trying to be like our peers, not really knowing who we are as we seek the world's acceptance, and even when gained, we find it has no satisfaction.

I had lunch with a friend a little while ago.  I don't eat out much so I was looking around at the people who were in the small cafe with us.  There was a table with a couple and a child about 2 years old.  Both parents had their "gadget" up to their face while the child wandered about.  It hit me as a futuristic cartoon or something, and yet, it was very real and present.

Interestingly, the other table had a deaf couple or at least one was deaf since they were using sign language to communicate.  I found it very refreshing.  You would think a deaf person would more likely bury themselves away in a gadget more so than others, but when you think about it, they are more likely to truly appreciate communication a lot more than most folks.  Regardless it was lovely to see "relationship" in action.

These same tendencies have isolated us in our willingness to connect with God who is our Creator, the only one who knows us to the core level, and the only one who will be with you no matter what you do. He created you and came to earth Himself to justify all of mankind because God is love.

From the time of creation, God wanted to have family to love. He came to Adam & Eve after they ate the apple wanting to reconcile with him, but Adam was afraid. Fear had entered into man with the Fall. God had to ban them from the Garden because if they ate of the other tree they would live forever and sin is not static.

Outside the Garden, God still communed with the first family. Even though one son became a murderer of his brother, God gave him a mark to protect him. Is that an angry, vengeful God that wants to make life hard? Cain reaped the natural consequences from his sin. When teenagers drink and drive and hit a tree, it's not God that allowed that to happen. It's the natural consequence of being stupid enough to drink and drive. It's also the sin of rebellion because they've had plenty of warnings. It's the goodness of God that brings men to repentance, not anger or fear.

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Cattleya aka Corsage Orchid
Conservatory Garden

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Consider Romans 2:4:
"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (KJV).

"Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent" (AMP).

When we begin to develop a relationship with the Lord it always effects our earthly relationships. In the same way you become more sensitive to His voice, you will find you will become more aware of the people around you. You'll have a desire to talk less and listen more, a longing for a deeper understanding of who they are.

I John 4:7-8 says, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (NIV)

Take time to study His Word. Begin with the Gospels and see how Jesus showed us the Father. He said if we had seen Him, we'd seen the Father. Did He refuse to heal anybody? Did He ever have an angry word for anybody other than the religious sects of that day who put more on outward show than on relationship?

 There is much to learn. The Bible is our Earth Manual for Living. We need to know it. And don't get confused between the Old Testament Law Covenant and the New Testament Grace Covenant.  The Old Testament was a "type and shadow" of what was to come and when Jesus came He fulfilled ALL of the Law:

"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Romans 10:4 KJV).

Christ came that we might live life abundantly. "The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 KJV).

When you seek HIs face, you will see Him differently and your entire life will change also. How we see God has a lot to do with how we relate to and experience the world around us.

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Copyright and Reprint Information - All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins, but may be used with proper credit and link back to the website, TheNatureInUs.com. Articles written by Donna L. Watkins may also be reprinted with proper credit and link back to the website, TheNatureInUs.com.

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