According to personality tests, I’m 98 percent extroverted, which means I thrive on being with people. I feel energized by my relationships with others. If I go too many days without some serious human interaction, I start to feel a little stir crazy.
Maybe that’s why this final chapter of This Changes Everything really hit home for me. Jaquelle spent the final pages of her book discussing the important topic of relationships. Check out this quick vlog update and then keep reading for more on how the gospel transforms our relationships.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you crave being around people or prefer to be by yourself, we all have relationships. Since we all have people in our life we must interact with, we all face the joys and struggles that come along with interacting with others.
That is why I so loved chapter 8, where Jaquelle digs deep into practical ways to interact with those around you. (If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I highly encourage you to do so. She digs much deeper than we will have time for in this blog post).
In a nutshell, we are relational beings because we were created by a relational God. Jaquelle explains this reality perfectly in the book:
God is a relational being (think of the perfect and self-satisfied relationship between the three persons of the Trinity), and He made us to be relational beings too. Adam’s need for Eve was not an unmanly weakness or fatal flaw. It was a simple expression of his humanity. People need people. That’s the way God’s world works.
We were created by God to be in relationship with others. We were created to be in relationship with God Himself. We were created to be in relationship with our parents, friends, siblings, and the opposite gender.
When it comes to our relationships with others, we need to view those relationships through a gospel lens.
How does the gospel transform our relationships with others? The gospel shows us what true, selfless, encouraging, Christ-honoring love is like. It’s about honoring God and selflessly serving others.
That’s the type of love that we are called to live out.
At the end of the day, no relationship in our life is untouched by the gospel. Not a one. Every relationship should be about us loving like Jesus, serving like Jesus, encouraging like Jesus, and, like Jesus, glorifying God above all else.
Instead of leaving us on our own to figure out how to do this, Jaquelle points out four specific ways we way can love others well. I encourage you to read this chapter and dig into the details of each area yourself.
Four Ways to Love Others and Become More Like Christ
1. Love sacrificially.
We have been given the perfect example of genuine love by Jesus and His death on the cross.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers (1 John 3:16).
2. Love with genuine joy.
Loving others well takes an intentional effort to rejoice for, celebrate with, and get excited for the accomplishments of others. It’s about giving up your irritation or annoyance and choosing to love with genuine joy.
[Love] is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth (1 Cor. 13:5–6).
3. Love patiently.
It’s hard to be patient with others. This is one of my greatest struggles in relationships and I’m guessing it might be some of yours as well. The Bible makes it very clear that genuine, Christ-centered love is patient. It’s a choice we make to love others in that way. “Love is patient” (1 Cor. 13:4).
4. Love with encouragement.
Our relationships with others need to be marked by a willingness to build up and not tear down. This step takes intentionality to live out.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (1 Thess. 5:11).
Is there someone in your life who needs a little more gospel-centered love from you? Which of the four steps can you implement for that person this week?
That closes the book on our Summer Book Club, but be sure to check back next week to hear some words of encouragement from the author, Jaquelle Crowe.