Spacial Relationships!

God’s call will always require the help of the right people.

People will either hinder your call or help your call. The people you build relationships with aren’t just bodies filling up spaces, they are spirits that influence atmosphere’s. The people you let into your relational spaces are influencing the spiritual atmosphere of your life more than you think. Bad company ruins good character. When the Apostle Paul was writing to the church in Galatia he said, “You were running well, WHO hindered you?” (Gal 5:7). Notice he didn’t say WHAT hindered you but WHO hindered you?

God blesses you through people but Satan can also curse you through people as well. It takes sharp discernment to know the difference. Not every person that enters your life, should you turn your landing lights on for. Unfortunately, I, like many other Christians have believed that we are to have relational space for every person that passes our way because we are supposed to ‘love our neighbour as we love ourselves’ and we are to be accepting of people in whatever form they come in. The biblical mandate to love and honour each other is unchanging, however God did not build you to have relational space for everyone. Your spirit has infinite capacity to connect with God but you do not have infinite capacity to include every passerby in your relational space.

Some people are allies, some are acquaintances, some people are partners in the call God has placed upon you and some are simply ‘no fly-zone’ people. Just as a country has controlled airspace that stops foreign military aircraft from drifting across its borders, we should have some controlled relational space that doesn’t allow unhealthy co-dependent relationships to develop. Never drift into a relationship without thinking, ‘What space in my life will this person occupy?’

Every relationship in your life belongs in a certain space. It’s what I call ‘Spacial Relationships’. Spacial miscalculations could cost you dearly in more ways than you realize. Hello Abraham and Lot!

When God called Abram to leave his family and go to the promised-land, he did not invite Lot to go with Abram but Abram did and it cost both Lot and Abram dearly. Never invite someone on the journey God hasn’t invited to go with you. Conflict arose between Lot’s growing family and Abram’s growing family and they had to part ways. It wasn’t until after Lot left Abram that God spoke to Abram again about his calling. Sometimes it isn’t until certain people leave your life can God speak what he needs to because God’s fresh revelation might be polluted by the influence of uninvited people. When God declared his intention of destroying Lot’s place of residence, Abram felt responsibility to rescue Lot. Whatever relationship you author, you have to perfect, but whatever relationship God authors, God’s spirit helps perfect. As Lot and his wife flee the town that is now burning sulfur, Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. A Hefty price to pay for a spacial miscalculation.

Take responsibility for your relational space and look for kingdom connections. God’s got a global dot to dot plan and if we tune into his call, He will partner us up with the people He wants us to be in relationship with.

Insight!

2 thoughts on “Spacial Relationships!

  1. Hi Corey. I actually felt quite sad after reading this post. While some of the principles you offer may be true they seem to be a pretty selfish basis to build/allow relationships on.

    There are people all through our community who don’t know how to do relationships well and if everyone in the body of Christ was to build relationships based on who will help propel them to the heights of their call, there would be people who would never encounter a loving, godly example of what a healthy relationship looks like.

    It was Jesus who, within the security of a perfect relationship, moved and entered into relationship with a sinful, selfish, rebelling, self righteous people. In the context of a right relationship with God, are we not called to do the same? To model healthy boundaries rather than exclusivity in relationships? This is not saying we have to be in close relationship with anyone and everyone we come across but rather that we take the focus off of ourselves and our needs for long enough to consider those of another.

    I agree that some relationships at times need to be severed for various reasons but surely we are not to be so focused on having OUR needs met when assessing whether we let someone into our “relational space”?

    1. Hi Bec,

      I think you may have taken my thoughts out of context. I’m in total agreement with your feedback, however, if you look at Jesus proximity of relationships throughout the gospels, you see that he spent the bulk of his time with his disciples. He ministered to the masses, had a group of 120 around him by the time he ascended to the Father (Acts 1), he sent out the 72 for ministry, he called the 12 to himself (exclusive group to train and disciple) and he chose 3 (Peter, James and John) to be with him in some significant encounters (Mt Transfiguration). The random accounts of Jesus connecting with the likes of Zaccheus and the Gentile woman were minimal. I’m not saying that we develop exclusive relationships but I am saying that we need to be wise about the amount of time we spend in certain relationships in light of the call of God on our lives.

      I don’t advocate selfishness in relationships nor did I suggest in my blog that it is about having our needs met. I’m simply reflecting from my experience, observation and dealings with people particularly in my pastoral role and have discovered some important insights that can help us all do relationships better.

      CT

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