Monday, September 24 , 2018, 6:25 pm | Fair 65º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: Relationships Are Critical in Our Lives

Relationships are critical in all our lives. They affect the very quality of life.

Since becoming a follower of Christ more than 30 years ago, the depth of my personal relationships blossomed. Early in my life, I feared letting others get too close. As the oldest son in a military family, I didn’t feel I could risk close friendships since I knew the kids I played with would be moving soon and so would my family. Life was a turnstile!

Even after my dad retired, I remained aloof in my relationships. After college, joining the Army helped reinforce my adverse behavior to shut down close friendships. We can easily put up barriers that stifle the closeness that God wants us all to experience.

Perhaps you can relate to this, and then again you may well think you’ve got this facet of life just where you want it.

So what do you think about the word intimacy? That’s a word I’ve used for years to confront Christian business and professional men with what I believe God wants us to experience with fellow believers. Some cringe when I use the term in their presence. I suspect they don’t see intimacy as a manly trait.

John Wayne was certainly never intimate on the big screen! Charles Dickens allowed us to see the transformation in Ebenezer Scrooge, and what I saw was an unabashed intimacy in the last few pages of A Christmas Carol.

Unfortunately, shortly after their conversion experience, many Christian men revert back to their guarded ways in an effort to remain strong in their business endeavors at the expense of deeper relationships.

Years ago, I went through CBMC’s Operation Timothy with two dear friends. Carl Schuele and Dr. Bill Blythe are now both in Heaven, but I still cherish the memories of meeting with these two very successful businessmen for more than a year at The Brown Pelican for our weekly breakfast sessions.

Those were very special mornings for all of us. We looked forward to sharing our love for Jesus and applying the truths found in Operation Timothy in all aspects of our lives. Whether it’s Operation Timothy or another Bible study, I highly recommend meeting together and developing close bonds with like-minded men.

These days, I’m personally looking forward to using the new e-Version of Operation Timothy and other tools. The Marketplace Ambassador Advancement System is an excellent place to start the process of growing in your personal relationship with Christ and others.

I’m praying about just how God wants me to use these tools to develop and improve those relationships that will be pleasing to Him. He wants us to do just that, and of course He longs to be in the midst of those relationships with us.

Please join me in taking the risk in meeting with like-minded people and growing in your relationships.

Passages to Ponder

» John 14:16-20

» John 15:9-11

» Hebrews 13:1-2

» Acts 8:26-31

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara ​(Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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