Hope in the mess of relationships.

November 15, 2009

Excerpts from Tim Lane and Paul Tripp’s book on all kinds of relationships, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making:

We are sinners with the capacity to do great damage to ourselves and our relationships.  We need God’s grace to save us from ourselves.  But we are also God’s children, which means that we have great hope and potential — not hope that rests on our gifts, experience, or track record, but a hope that rests in Christ.  Because he is in us and we are in him, it is right to say that our potential is Christ!

We are well aware that we are smack dab in the middle of God’s process of sanctification.  And because this is true, we will struggle again.  Selfishness, pride, an unforgiving spirit, irritation, and impatience will certainly return.  But we are neither afraid nor hopeless.  We have experienced what God can do in the middle of the mess.  This side of heaven, relationships and ministry are always shaped in the forge of struggle.  None of us get to relate to perfect people or avoid the effects of the fall on the work we attempt to do.  Yet, amid the mess, we find the highest joys of relationship and ministry.

We would prefer that God would just change the relationship, but he won’t be content until the relationship changes us too.  This is how God created relationships to function.

Does the challenge and mess of relationships leave you discouraged?  Does the biblical honesty about human community shock you? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the hard work relationships require? … The shattered relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the cross provides the basis for our reconciliation.  No other relationship ever suffered more than what Father, Son, and Holy Spirit endured when Jesus hung on the cross and cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

In his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus brought reconciliation in two fundamental ways.  Jesus reconciled us to God, which then becomes the foundation for the way he reconciles us to one another.  As C.S. Lewis said, Christ restores first things so that second things are not suppressed but increased!  When God reigns in our hearts, peace reigns in our relationships.

And I’m only on page 15 now …



5 Responses to “Hope in the mess of relationships.”

  1. Kau Says:

    good book…wait til you get to the chapter on forgiveness

  2. moonchoi Says:

    Thanks for sharing. I needed it.

  3. letitia Says:

    kau: part of me is excited, part of me is cringing already … haha

    moon: hugs and hugs ❤

  4. keziahkim Says:

    those are a lot of thoughts that i am challenged with here in the MABC program. great stuff. amazing truths 🙂

  5. tia Says:

    kez, if the women2women conference is in june again next summer, i want to come! 🙂

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