Few pastors understand brokenness like my friend, Louie Giglio. Louie and his wise and wondrous wife, Shelley, we’ve shared a few meals together, shared a bit of our introverted hearts, and Louie and Shelley are people who dig down deep into Jesus, who’s hospitality and generous hearts are unforgettable, and as a family, we can testify, how well they’ve loved us all. And Louie can testify that that Jesus meets us more than half way, that we can live in the freedom of being children of the King, loving like He’s loved us. It’s a grace to welcome our friend Louie Giglio to the farm’s front porch today…
Relationships are tricky.
Are you the kind of person who’s able to have relationships that are meaningful and fulfilling and significant?
I want to put out a big idea: The degree to which we receive what God has given to us determines the degree to which we are going to have meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
Right now God is wanting to give amazing things into your life and there are two reasons why we don’t take what God is wanting to give us right now.
- We don’t think we are worthy of God giving us amazing things in our lives.
- We’ve been decieved into thinking what we have is better than what God wants us to give or receive.
The degree to which you and I receive what God has given us—which is everything, by the way—and what He currently wants to give us—which is the unfolding of everything—is going to be the number one shaper of your ability to have meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
The love of God trumps whatever else we have experienced in life.
Therefore the fundamental idea is not what was your dad or mom like; it is how willing are you to receive what God is wanting to give you today?
That is going to be the number one shaper of your ability to have a meaningful and successful relationship with the people around you.
That is the heart of your marriage, the heart of how you’re getting along with your roommate, the heart of how you’re going to approach a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the heart of you reconciling relationships that have been busted apart where everybody is waiting on who is going to make the first move and help this thing be repaired.
It begins with our ability to receive what God has given us and wants to give us in life.The number one flaw we experience in relationships is we expect more of other people than they can realistically provide.
Let me give you an example of that.
You’re a young, single person, you’re hoping to find a Mr. Perfect one day, and in your mind you have already figured it out.
Maybe you have some stuff that you haven’t dealt with, but that’s okay because this dude is going to arrive and he’s coming in on a magic carpet and when he sweeps into the room the temperature is going to change, the music is going to play, the lights are going to come on, and he is going to look me in my eyes and he is going to tell me I’m the greatest thing that ever happened and I mean right then and there everything I’ve wrestled with in life is going to resolve right in that moment in the hands of this wonderful man.
And that’s a great dream, except for the fact that he’s coming in a Toyota Corolla that is missing a hubcap on one tire.
He is only going to amplify your annoyance factor and your frustration factor about all the unresolved things in your life because he’s not going to be perfect.
But, thank God, Jesus is, and He’s already available.
No one is perfect except for Jesus, and He is currently available for us.
Ever have an argument with somebody? They come to you and say, “Look, I just need to let you know how I feel. And you’re really not this and that and the other and here’s the four things you’re not doing and here’s the one thing you need to change. Don’t do this or do this more.”
And, how do you respond to that? “Wow — that is so true. Thank you for telling me that because I want to be a man or a woman whose life stands the test of time, built on the foundation of Jesus. You’re absolutely right. What should I start working on today?”
No. What normally happens?
“Well it’s funny that you’re saying that because let’s go back to Point B over there for a second. If there is anybody who is a grand master international champion of that, that would be you. Let me give you, oh, a hundred examples.”
You see, we have a way of always flipping it around to the other person and saying, “You are held to this standard, and I’m held to a different standard. And what I expect from you is certainly not what I necessarily want from God. I want him to give me way more slack than I’m going to give you right now.”
The way we blow all this up is by putting the gospel in the middle of our relationships.
How does Jesus relate to you?
Jesus does not give us what we deserve.
Psalm 103:8 says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse nor will he harbor his anger forever for he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our inequities.”
That’s how Jesus relates to you. You can count on Him to not treat you the way you deserve to be treated.
Jesus meets us more than half way.
He is merciful when we are wrong, He’s gracious when we are stubborn, He loved us before we were lovable, and He loved us before we were able to love Him.
How does this impact how we relate to others?
In the same measure we receive, we give. In 1 John 4 we see the gospel coming in the middle of our relationships and it’s groundbreaking and revolutionary. It’s seismic for our relationships.
Verse 7 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God and everyone who does not love does not know God because God is love.”
So if you’re not loving it’s not because of your dad.
It’s because you don’t know God.
If you’re not loving other people it’s not because of your ex-wife, it’s because you don’t know God.
If you’re not loving it’s not because you moved four times when you were in middle school, it’s because you don’t know God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
“This is how God showed his love among us.” So let’s get specific about it, this is how he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love. “Not that we loved God because we weren’t able to love but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
To that same measure with which we are loved, we love.
That’s why the gospel has to be in the middle of our relationships.
When we come to know God, God dispenses grace and mercy with a shovel.
He says to us, “You need more today? Well, my mercies are new every single day so when you wake up just imagine tomorrow that there is an angel standing by the bed and he’s just shoveling mercy and pouring it on you before you even hit the snooze button tomorrow.
This is not yesterday’s mercy; this is new mercy today.”
Louie Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of Passion Conferences—a global movement of college-aged people living for the fame of Jesus Christ. A dynamic and effective communicator, Louie holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is the creator The Jesus Bible and author of numerous books and Bible studies, including The Comeback, Relat(able), and Waiting Here for You. He and his wife, Shelley, reside in Atlanta.
Relat(able) looks at relationships the way God intended them to be. Because He has gone to extraordinary lengths to relate to us, we have the potential to build incredible relationships with one another. Embracing God’s love and receiving His grace changes the way we relate to him, our family, our friends, and ourselves.
In this six-session video Bible study, Louie Giglio explores the fundamental question of what makes us relatable to others. He shows how God can change our perspective on relationships, give us greater purpose in dating and marriage, bring us peace in the midst of conflict, and help us restore relationships that seem broken beyond repair.
The Relat(able) Study Guide includes video discussion questions and Bible exploration to accompany the Relat(able) DVD Study — really, who doesn’t need to be relatable? Maybe right about now — we all need this in world-changing kinds of ways — one relationship at a time.
[ Our humble thanks to Thomas Nelson for their partnership in today’s devotion ]