Whenever things are to be built, the foundations are essential. If the foundation is wrong the stability of the structure will be increasingly suspect.
It’s bad enough when an individual life is built on unstable foundations. It’s significantly worse when a relationship is based on unstable foundations. What helps to establish strong relationships is truth and trust. When people refer to love, it’s based on these ingredients. When there is truth, there’s no darkness – no such things as hidden agendas. There is no room for malice to develop in quiet and issues to fester. There is no room for areas of deception to be fostered and people to put in their efforts to bring down others in hypocrisy. Knowing where each other really stands can be the basis on which to determine if movement can genuinely take place.
Relationships built on truth is insufficient. The truth may be that we don’t like each other – nothing is being built with that. The liberating truth of knowing Jesus equips us to base relationships on trust – arguably the hardest element of any relationship, but undoubtedly one of the greatest elements. Where there is trust, over time great relationships can be built. Where there is trust problems can be opened out and explored with at least the knowledge that two perspectives are enriching the possibility of progress. Where there is trust, certain actions become automatic in giving and sharing to such a degree that it’s a feature that impresses those who witness it.
Relationships that take long to build may appear to be broken down easily because of broken trust through lack of truth. Even here, though, there is hope. Even as the liberating truth of life in Christ enables us to know we are forgiven by God and can move on with Him, so we are equipped to forgive others and where possible be able to move on with them by His grace. That doesn’t just build great relationships, but will go onto build great communities of that amazing grace.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden