Day 46: Relationships first... then responsibilities
Responsibility—yikes! I am not sure how many of us wake up in the morning saying, “I can’t wait to be super-responsible today!”
However, I want to suggest that from our relationships flow responsibilities. I am a dad. I have father-son relationships. As a dad, I have responsibilities. Those responsibilities are not random, they have an aim, a purpose.
Our relationship with God yields responsibilities.
For me, Responsibility is linked in Relationship; taken together, they work to accomplish our Aim or Purpose.
I can become so focused on achieving my Purpose that I can take those responsibilities too far. Someone once said to me, “I am not impressed with your overdeveloped sense of responsibility.”
Somewhere along the line, meeting all my responsibilities was compromising my relationships. Those who work at their jobs… even those whose jobs are in the Church… we need to remember: Relationship First.
We cannot rightly find a life of meaning and purpose apart from God—and that starts in and through relationship.
Take for example Jesus and Peter in John chapter 21. The relationship is a bit tattered. The last time they really spoke, at least one of them, it was to deny the other.
One blog post earlier, we examined how Jesus moves to restore the relationship.
Jesus says to Peter, “I love you, do you love me?” Answer: “Yes Lord, you know I love you.”
Jesus, “Okay, if you love me, then let’s get on with it.”
Let’s get on with it… living into our relationship… living out our responsibilities.
Here I want to make one simple HUGE point. You and I follow Jesus in our daily lives. Pastors and priests are not more spiritual than Plumbers or Policeman. Friars not more holy than Fireman or Farmers. Full-time Evangelists are not more eternally elevated than Executives or Elevator Operators.
All our work is “Holy unto the Lord”. We offer our work to God. There is a false division between the sacred and the secular. All too often I will hear that “so-and-so has gone into full-time ministry” and the implied tone is that this is somehow better. It is not. In fact, we are all in full-time ministry; some just get paid for it.
I could rant about this for hours. I write about it here because we need a proper understanding of the value of our work, in God’s eyes, as we press into living out our responsibilities as followers of Jesus.
If you are not a paid religious worker, can I just encourage you?
I was led to Jesus by a co-worker. I respected him so much. I wanted the peace he had. He bore witness every day. And here is the deal…it is HUGE…in many places in this world, you have more credibility than the Pastor or Priest. Not in all places, but in many.
For many people, the church, the religious, actually are a hindrance to meeting Jesus. When those people meet someone, who has all the same challenges they do, living for Jesus with peace and joy… let’s just say, it gets real, very quickly.
That day, when Jesus called the gang in from fishing, it wasn’t because fishing was wrong, it was because they were fishing only for fish. And it was to let Peter know that he was forgiven. So that Peter could then get on with his responsibilities as a follower of Jesus.
I am looking to see what in this blog worked for you, and what didn’t. Can I ask you to give me some feedback? Simply click here. Five respondents will be chosen at random to receive a copy of my Romans reading guide by mail! Winners will notified by email, and posted on Wednesday, April 11 on my blog and social media.