Charlie 2:00-7:00pm

Relationship trumps behaviour

'If you, Lord, kept a record of sins...who could stand?' Psalm 130:3 NIV

If God was only interested in right and wrong, he wouldn't have wanted connection with people in the first place.

God's first desire is relationship. Look at how he treats Peter in Matthew 18. First (we're paraphrasing here) Peter asks Jesus, 'How many times should I forgive someone? Is seven enough? After that, can I carry on hating them?' Jesus replies, 'There's no limit. If you're sincerely loving someone, you must not put a limit on your forgiveness.' He judged people through a tight lens of right and wrong, but Jesus tells him to drop that lens and only look at people with love. It turns out that Peter needed that lesson. Just months later, Peter promised Jesus that he would be the most faithful disciple and never deny Jesus. But he does. Three times! And then what does Jesus do? He pursues his broken, dejected friend and restores him to relationship. Why? Because his first desire is maintaining relationship with Peter, not about Peter behaving correctly.

Now, of course, behaviour does matter, and rules are important. But if our main priority is to keep relationship then we won't spend our time obsessively totting up sin counts and judging others. We'll forgive without limit, because we care about people before we care about their behaviour.[LF1]

So what now? Picture someone who's annoying you. See them before the throne of God, hand in hand with Jesus. Jesus's priority is his relationship with them, so it should be yours too.

Soulfood: Lk 24:50-53 Acts 1:1-11 Acts 1:1-11 Eph 4:7-10,

back to top