I peered into her eyes. I loved her, everything about her person. She was one person I had grown to admire of late. She was fast becoming a role model and mentor. She was my biology teacher. As I sat behind the work bench of the laboratory in one of those revision classes before my SSCE exams, staring with dilated pupils at her,  our eyes met. She stopped addressing the class and turned,  facing me. “Gideon,  I’ve noticed this – you don’t have friends. It’s not good. You have to do something about it.”
She was right. Prior to this time I didn’t care. I was a young chap who had met God in my early teenagehood. The bulk of my peers didn’t care about my God. So, in order to stay pure I kept to myself. Up until I was reprimanded by this teacher of mine,  I didn’t care. But now I did. As I walked out the gate of my school that fateful afternoon,  I pondered on these things. “She’s right,  your biology teacher.” the Spirit of God was saying to me. “You actually need to work on your relational life. You’ve been a good example in school; people admire your life from a distance,  but you’ve made little impact on them. Do you know why?” “Why Lord?” I asked. “Your relational life. You need to place more value on relationships,  with God and people.”
And that was it. The last part of the Lord’s statement to me became my number one core value. And I believe it should be the same for others.
Every believer should place the utmost premium on relationship,  because God does. God is a relational being, and He wired man a relational being too. The primary reason God created man is for fellowship. After the fall of man in the third chapter of Genesis, we were told that Adam and his wife heard the sound of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. What was God seeking? Fellowship. He obviously had been meeting with them,  and even after their fall, He still came to check on them.
In the same vein, God has created man to fellowship with one another. For He created him and placed him in a family,  and a community. Why? Because man was never meant to be alone. Irrespective of temperament, for any human to survive and remain sane, that human needs people. Not just people, but personal persons with whom they can effectively communicate and bond. It’s the reason why the cruel punishment of solitary confinement is meted to condemned criminals; to render them useless.
As food supplies nourishment to the body, so does healthy relationship to the soul and entire being of man. For a man is either made or marred by his relationships.
A vertical relationship with God must be first,  forming the basis for a healthy horizontal relationship with people. Show me a man who has a functional relationship with God, and I’d show you a man who has a fruitful relationship with people. “My relationship with God is working well,  but I simply don’t have time for people.” some believers would say. That is a big fat lie from the pit of hell. If you don’t have meaningful relationships with people, if you don’t have friends, I can say boldly that you don’t have a functional relationship with God. If God wasn’t interested in your relationship with people, He would have taken you immediately to heaven after He got you saved.
David had a friend he loved as his soul,  Jonathan. Jesus had friends; for aside his immediate twelve disciples, He shared a fond relationship with faithfuls like Lazarus,  and Mary and Martha,  his sisters. He even fostered relationships with unbelievers when He ate with task collectors and sinners at Zaccheus’ house. So your excuse of temperament or you not being a people-person is not tenable. For you have Christ as example.
Examine your relationships, with God and people. Start with your nuclear family. When last did you tell your parents that you love them? When last did you spend quality time gisting with your wife? Have you ever asked your colleague at work about his welfare and family? Or you feel it is none of your business. Do you still exchange pleasantries with those you meet in the bus? Or you feel it’s old fashioned. Please turn a new leaf. For God wants you to give the utmost care to your relationships.
Before going to bed next time, ask yourself this question, “How have I bettered my relationship with people today?” For the value of a life, is in the value of the relationships he has built. For what would matter most to you in your dying bed is not the amount of wealth you’ve amassed, but the valuable relationships you possess.
gidmedico

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