Quality of Relationships
In the city that’s descending from heaven it’s the quality of the relationships that makes the walls, not sticks and bricks. Something I’ve pondered from time to time is that in the world, when you think of the phrase “quality of relationships” you think of how much you like someone. That’s really not the quality of the relationship.
The quality of the relationship is back to the unseen realm - how much can you see the blood of Christ as being definition of this relationship. You are never going to find a whole slew of people that their personality suits you just fine, and they never say or do anything that is quirky or weird, or unnecessary, or different than what you are used to, or what you are comfortable with, or what you like - all these seen world things. The quality of relationships in this unseen city that is descending from heaven has to do with the unseen quality of relationships. Meaning that I see past the things I like and don’t like. The things that are ugly to me, the things that are pretty, the hobbies, the personalities, the communication skills, etc. That stuff is just not the issue. How their children act at this moment or that, whether they do their hair a certain way or smell a certain way, etc., those are not the defining issues. In the seen world they are. If we live by that and let our affections and the quality of relationship be dependent on those things, we are always going to be fighting against God and fighting against ourselves. And we’ll be as miserable as the pagans are, if not more so, because we know a little bit too much to be as at peace as they are with all that stupid stuff.
The fact is that even what we like and don’t like in terms of relationships has to be defined by the spirit of Christ, by the blood of Christ. I don’t ask the questions, “Do I like what they do and not do, how they look or don’t look, whether they are fun or not fun?” I ask, “Who are my fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters? Do they desire to do the will of God and do they trust the blood of Jesus to forgive their sins, to present them spotless before the glorious throne?” If they trust the blood of Jesus for that and if they desire to do God’s will, even though they are weak at times, then they are spotless before his glorious throne. And who couldn’t love a spotless person? You have to see it through God’s eyes to grab a hold of and to be endeared to what he is.
He dealt with a bunch of yo-yos for exactly that reason. He dealt with some guys that we would, in the seen world, have a hard time with. They were uncouth, uncultured, arrogant, brash, stupid, foolish, bone-headed, weird guys of various descriptions and various amounts of faith, various amounts of obedience, various amounts of personality, etc. And yet he said after he was raised from the dead, “Go tell my brothers.” He didn’t view them in categories of all these things that he liked or didn’t like. “They are clean because of my word.” The basis of the walls that are held together by the depth and quality of relationships is how much we can see it the way he sees it. Not the quirky personalities, not the failures, but, “Do they want to do God’s will and do they trust the blood of Jesus as their only hope? If so, we are going to find a way to have a quality relationship.” It has to be based on that. You are not going to pick and choose on other qualities. That’s not right. And those are the questions that need to be asked, not all the other stuff of the seen world which just confuses our hearts and minds and makes us petty people and robs us as well as the people around us of the joy of salvation.