Summary: First in a series on healthy relationships that Christians can have.
Foundations for Healthy Personal Relationships
Part 1 – Having a Common Faith
August 1, 2010
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FORM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
Me: I’m generally what people call a “people-person.”
I generally like hanging out with other people, and I’m usually not afraid to introduce myself to someone in a social setting.
Unless they’re wearing a Yankees hat or something, of course.
We: How many here on Facebook?
How many of you have more than 100 friends on Facebook? More than 200? 300? More than that?
I have 337 friends on Facebook. Now how many of those do you think are real, close, personal friends? Hardly any of them. In fact, my closest friends aren’t on Facebook that I know of.
Some of my Facebook friends I’ve never even met. Some are people I’ve met through e-mail pastor groups, and others are high school and college friends.
Some are complete, total strangers. I just felt bad about rejecting their friend request.
Just in the last month or so I’ve added maybe a dozen friends who are actually relatives on my dad’s side.
It started with an uncle, and it has exploded.
You have to remember that my dad is the oldest of 13 kids, six of whom are one Facebook, and just about all of whom have multiple children.
Folks, that’s a lot of cousins, most of whom I’ve never met, and probably won’t meet. But we’ve connected on Facebook.
But how many of those people who are Facebook friends are your very close friends?
Not many, right?
I mentioned a few weeks ago that God created us to need other people.
I believe that God has created us in such a way that healthy personal relationships are part of His plan for us to have healthy and fulfilling lives on earth, because it gives us the opportunity to impact and be impacted by those closest to us.
I also believe that when that impact is something that helps us in our relationship with Christ, everybody involved wins, and we gain real benefits from those relationships.
Most of us can think of people in our lives right now who have been blessings to us because they have been more like brothers and sisters than just acquaintances, and have been used by God to help us in our walk with Jesus.
And the thing that makes that so special is that you share a common foundation – a common faith in Christ as your Savior and Lord.
God: Familiar passage used to discuss all sorts of things, especially business partnerships and marriage.
I think it also can be used to discuss relationships in general.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (p. 819) –
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
17 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."
18 "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
On the first glance, this can be a pretty negative passage, basically saying don’t tie yourself to those outside the faith.
But I want us to look at this from more of a positive angle – in other words, what is this passage telling us about the importance of good personal relationships in what it says about negative relationships.
The main point: Your best personal relationships are those built on a common faith in Jesus.
By “common faith,” I simply mean that you agree on the fundamentals – the essentials about Christ and eternal life.
Things like the fact that Jesus is the only way to find forgiveness and heaven. Things like the Bible being the Word of God from cover to cover.
You don’t need to be in agreement about every detail about the faith.
“I can’t be friends with that person – he doesn’t agree with me that a Bible should say “Holy Bible” on the cover…”
“I can’t be friends with that guy. He only tithes on his net pay, not his gross pay like me.” (Well maybe his net is gross – especially in this recession…)
You agree on the essentials of faith and purpose and you’ve got the makings of what can be an awesome and fulfilling relationship in Christ.