I actually had a pretty strong reaction to one of the convictions posted, and although I was initially just ticked off by what I felt were some particularly insensitive comments by one particular participant. I realize in hindsight that he was speaking freely, as he was asked to, and I probably overreacted. This is also probably because of the people targeted by the conviction – people who are overweight and don’t change their behavior to overcome it. I am definitely overweight and know how hard it can be to change, and some of my closest friends are overweight as well, and I know much deeper the issues go than simply not being willing to get off the couch. However, I realize that this interaction helped me realize a conviction I hold VERY deeply: More than anything else, relationships matter.
To put it another way, people matter. Anything that de-personalizes a person on any level is wrong. You can’t really have a healthy relationship with someone you think of as less of a person than yourself. This includes God. I think the number one way Christians go wrong is by either de-personalizing God or de-personalizing other human beings.
After all, isn’t that what Jesus said? The entire Bible rests on these two commands:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart
2. Love your neighbor as yourself
So this is my challenge to anyone reading, as well as to myself. Next time you pray, act like you’re talking to someone who actually hears you. Treat it like a conversation. Be honest and treat God like you’d treat anyone else you care about deeply. And next time you have the opportunity to take a chance and build real relationship with another person, even if it’s on a very low level, take it, and treat them like you’d like to be treated. In neither case can you really go wrong.