I value relationship with God and others as the source from which life and all true ministry will flow.
We are relational beings; this much cannot be denied. Though I have met a number of so-called “Lone Rangers” in my time, my experience tells me that the primary reason most people become islands unto themselves is because of betrayal, disappointment and dysfunction within their relationships. The people that we love and value become the source of our pain. This very reaction is nothing more than proof that we are indeed relational beings.
We begin the journey of life through an intimate relationship. We are nourished and suckled through an intimate relationship. Thus begins the journey of life. The journey of dependence, relationship, family, and community. It is precisely this experience which primes a person to know and relate to God.
After only a few short years on this planet, we begin to realize that things are not right down here. We see the failure of our biggest heroes, face tragedy and difficulty and learn the law of the jungle. It is often when the props of human relationships have fallen all around us that God reveals himself to us as Father and Friend. He reveals himself to us on his terms, and those terms begin with the idea of our sin and need for salvation. We see ourselves as we really are and God as he really is in the Person of Jesus Christ. This new relationship becomes the source and restorative power through which all other relationships will be made right again.
This new relationship issues forth as a fountainhead into the lives of others. It is only within the context of this new relationship, that we can find what God truly intended for human relationships. This is why the Great Commandments begin with loving God with our whole being. In order to love my neighbor as I love myself, I must experience the settled reality of God first loving me. Only then am I able to return that love to him. I can try to love my neighbor, but until I have encountered being loved by God and then loving him, my love for my neighbor will always fall short.
So this is my first Core Value. I have received love and relationship through Jesus Christ, so now I can give them to others. What is your No. 1 Core Value?
This article was written on behalf of the Moses Lake Christian Ministerial Association.