A friend of mine leads a Church that continually tells people that “Life is a spiritual journey.” One of their core values under that description is, “Don’t travel alone.” Life in Christ is best experienced with other people. They help us to learn, to grow and to stay strong as we walk with God. Here are the four most prominent relationships every believer needs to reach their full potential.
1. Someone to Teach You. There is so much to learn about God and faith in him that you need an instructor. You need somewhere you can ask questions and seek solid biblical answers. One failure of many believers is that they listen to the wrong voices. You need someone who is a mature Christian to help you understand the Bible and the ways of God.
2. Someone to Encourage You. There are days that all of us want to give up on God. The road seems too hard, and the people are difficult to handle. These days you need someone in your life who sees the positive. They cheer you on when you feel like giving up. Too often I see people quit their faith because no one encouraged them through a rough season of life. We all need someone to believe in us when we are ready to give up.
3. Someone to Challenge You. This person might also be your teacher, but it is best when it is another person. You need someone to see your flaws, failures, and shortcomings and not let you get away with it. Think of it as a personal trainer for the soul. They are not there to give you nutrition (like a teacher) instead they are there to push you to a level you never thought possible to achieve.
4. Someone for you to teach, encourage or challenge. The goal of following Jesus is not just to develop yourself, but to help other people. You have your own set of unique gifts and experiences that make you best suited to help someone else. Find a person who is either new to faith or younger in age and help them on their journey. Just as people are helping you, you need to help someone else.
I am sure there are other meaningful relationships in the lives of believers, but I think each one of these is essential. The problem with most Christians I know is that they are missing at least one of these if not two. In fact, every person I have ever known who gave up following Jesus was missing a vital relationship which could have helped them. Their failure was not one of improper doctrine, rather one of inadequate connections.
So if you are serious about following Jesus then take time to evaluate the people in your life. Maybe today is an excellent time to make a new friend.