Good morning everyone and welcome to week two of reflecting on our core value of being Relational. As I was thinking about this, what struck me is that the scriptures over and over talk about how our God is an intentionally relational God who wants us to emulate him. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” This speaks to me a lot about our core value, because as Jayson highlighted last week about all of the different aspects of “being an active listener” and “building each other up” and “believing the best”, I thought about three components that we need to have to do that. The three components are Knowing God, Knowing Ourselves, and Knowing Others.

So when we know God, we view all of life through Him. We trust Him and desire to obey and imitate Him. Then we know ourselves. We must be honest about who we are, our emotions, our interests, our strengths, our weaknesses. We need to own up to the sins and the shame in our life. God already knows them. If we cover them up, they’re still in there. It’s our junk, as Jayson talked about, affecting things. But if we are honest about them and confess them, then we can control these things and we can fulfill God’s purposes. Then we can truly know others. We can understand and empathize with people, which allows us to encourage, to cooperate and resolve differences.

So I think a lot of Ephesians 4:29, which says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” So, a couple of questions.

  1. What do you need to admit about yourself and lay before the Lord?
  2. What is something specific you can practice doing in your relationships that will help you “talk less” and “listen more”?

I encourage you to be relational to all this week, and I hope you all have a great week. – Greg