COVID-19 Update: We are currently recommending that all members and guests wear masks and practice social distancing. Thank you for your cooperation.

Relational Ratios

Jesus stated that his primary purpose of leaving heaven and invading earth was to “seek and to save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10). A number of years ago, I realized that my life and relationships had drifted away from this statement because almost everyone I hung out with was at some level connected with Jesus, or at least had some involvement in a Church. This behavior, for me, wasn’t just unhealthy; it was unholy.

Since this realization, I have been trying to adjust the balance in the relationships that I cultivate. When I began this process, my “relational ratio” was probably about 95%- 5%, and I was in favor of being around Church folk. As I have tried to be diligent in connecting with people in the community, my ratio has significantly changed.

I want to offer a slightly different motivator for cultivating such relationships than the ones we generally offer when discussing “The Lost.” The usual motivators that are 100% justified, stand-alone reasons that build relationships with the lost are that (1) Jesus commands us to (2) People will be eternally separated from God if we don’t. These are both biblical, accurate reasons. As I have become more involved in the lives of people far from God, let me share another perspective that may offer some motivation for connecting with those who don’t know God. I have discovered that:

Being around people far from God is one of the biggest accelerators in our spiritual growth and discipleship journey. Let me explain why:

1) God responds to faithfulness. When we do what God says (Matt 28), he sees our faithfulness and responds by being faithful to us. This cyclical process must continue as we move from “glory unto glory.”

2) Situations of “Lostness” break our hearts. Our hearts are so easily consumed and caught by trivial thoughts that do not matter and harden them that God is trying to soften them. Situations of helplessness break our hearts and ensure that we place our hope and dependence on the power of God. While often scary, this is the best thing we can do for ourselves.

3) Our faith needs stretching. The very reason many people shy away from sharing their faith (“I don’t know all the answers”) is the very reason we should share our faith. Being around honest and difficult questions offers a rigorous workout for our often flabby faith. If no one is challenging us, then we aren’t growing.

4) God wants us to pray more urgently. When we are exposed to things beyond our ability to respond and in situations beyond our control, desperation leads us to pray more. This holy urgency is something that we severely lack yet desperately need.

I am sure that there are many other reasons why we grow as we give… these are just a few. I believe that evangelism is one of the best forms of discipleship. I must continue to work to change the “relational ratio” of those I hang out with.

What about you?

No Comments




no categories


no tags