Thursday, August 4, 2011

Soup and Relationships

I know. You're wondering what in the world soup has to do with relationships. I'm glad you asked. For in-service training at the middle school where I work, we are reading Soup by Jon Gordon. It is a book about a company that makes soup and the lessons that the new CEO learns on her way to turning the company around. While reading this book, I was once again struck by the idea that all truth is God's truth, and that we can learn from unexpected sources.

At one point in the story, one of the characters makes this statement: "Communication, trust, and love create the foundation for any successful relationship. Without communication, trust, and love, your relationship won't be very strong; and without strong relationships you can't have a strong team; and if you don't have a strong team, then you can't have a strong organization. Relationships are the foundation upon which winning teams and organizations are built." While this statement does work for businesses, I believe it is just as true for those of us who follow Jesus.

Our faith is a faith built on relationship. We belong to a God who is a relational Being. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in a perfect love relationship with each other. I think you could say they have communication, trust, and love. We are also called into relationship with God. He has adopted us into his family, and calls us to accept his love and love him in return. God is someone who we can trust, and he communicates with us. Belonging to God is not a matter of saying or doing the right things. It is a matter of accepting and living in the love the Father has lavished on us.

Our relationships with others must be built on communication, trust, and love. Many of the problems in marriages, family relationships, and churches could be solved if we communicated with each other, if we trusted others enough to feel safe enough to communicate and were worthy of that trust, and if we loved enough to work through any problems that come from communication, or miscommunication. The primary command that Jesus gave us is to love each other as he loves us. We are to lay down our lives for our friends. How many times is our lack of communication, trust, and love due to our unwillingness to lay down our preferences, our "rights," our comfort. We don't put forth the effort to build relationships with fellow believers, and therefore our lives and churches are smaller and have less joy than what is possible.

Communication, trust, and love take work. It can be messy, and sometimes we can get hurt. But just as building relationships was the foundation on which the revival of the soup company was based, so relationships are the foundation on which God's kingdom is built. After all, Jesus did say that our love for each other would be the way the world would know that we belonged to him.

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

"Our faith is a faith built on relationship."

Well said Fred! It is what separates us from many other faiths.

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