If you have spent any amount of time in church you have seen some very unhealthy relationships. Whether it was an insecure controlling leader, or whether it was brother bitterness or sister rub you the wrong way. At some point you have come into contact with a very unhealthy person who does not know how to properly relate others. Unhealthy people usually don’t know who they are in Christ and certainly don’t know who Christ is in them therefore they don’t know how to relate to others. People who have an identity crisis will usually lack purpose and struggle to relate to others correctly. This reality transcends time, culture and socio-economic conditions. The truth is true in every culture. The truth is not subject to culture it needs to be applied to the culture to transform the culture. In the church unfortunately there is a culture of man pleasing. So we wind up with a false peace and call it unity but in reality it is not unity it is tolerance that is called unity in hopes of avoiding inevitable and necessary confrontations. Relationships mattered to Jesus. Jesus was quick to confront anything that would hinder purpose or misrepresent the Kingdom from within his followers. (Here are a few Biblical examples - Matthew 16:22-23, Matthew 17:17-21 and Luke 9:50-56)
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
Relationships matter to Jesus more than resources because relationships are the greatest resource. The priorities of the Lord are people first and money second. People matter to Jesus; he didn’t die for the tithe or an offering. He died to break down the wall of separation between people and cultures. Too many people value money more than relationships. Most leaders are more concerned with their budgets than the relationships that make their budget effective. Jesus is more concerned that we relate to one another correctly than he is about us offering God money. If we don’t value one another he doesn’t value our gift. That is a profound reality. He is saying if you don’t relate to one another correctly how you relate to me is irrelevant. The Lord said it differently when he said “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:15) God relates to us based on how we relate to others. People who have unforgiveness will always lack a breakthrough. Bondage in one area will always manifest in another area. This whole relationship thing matters to God so let us respond to him and make it matter to us as well.