“The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationships we maintain. This is all God asks us to give our attention to and it is the one thing that is continually under attack.” –Oswald Chambers
The one thing that matters more than anything else today is the quality of your relationships.
It’s easy to segment our relationship with God from our relationships with people, especially those we struggle with the most, but a quick survey of the New Testament confirms it, “We can’t love God and yet withhold love from people.” (1 John 4:7-21)
Consider this surprising connection Jesus makes between faith and forgiveness:
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Literally, in verse 22, Jesus says, “Have the faith of God,” or “Have God’s faith.” There’s no preposition in the Greek. After expanding their limited perspective and expectations of what’s truly possible in verse 24, He suddenly pulls it right back down into the dust of everyday reality in verse 25, “Make sure you forgive anyone and everyone when you pray.”
At first glance, a teaching on transcendent faith and forgiveness don’t go well together. When we think of faith, we tend to think about a personal journey where risk opens the door to future gains. But individual dreams aren’t Jesus’s concern here. Where we need faith the most is in our relationships.
How many times do I have to forgive him!?
How can I endure this any more?
How can I love when nothing in me feels love?
There can be no love without faith. And neither love nor faith is possible without forgiveness.
So, what relationships are in need of a healthy dose of faith? What step can you take today to heal a strained or broken relationship, not on the basis of merit, but with the faith of God?