What is the one element of any human life that if you took it away would devastate just about any person who ever lived? I’m not talking about internal things inside a person, such as their health or motivation, but about things outside of themselves. Have you guessed what it would be? My argument is that this component would be a person’s relationship with others. While possessions, money, and personal health might be of great value, they are really nothing without relationships. What is the point of having millions of dollars if you have no one to share it with? Some of you at face value would be willing to give up your relationships for millions of dollars, but would you do so if you knew that the cost would be never having any friends again? Relationships are the meat and drink of human existence; we cannot really live without them. We were created by God as social beings, and regardless of whether we are loner types, or life of the party types, we need other people. Albert Camus, the 1957 winner of the Noble Prize for Literature once wrote: “Human relationships always help us to carry on because they always presuppose further developments-a future-and also because we live as if our only task was precisely to have relationships with other people.”
It is no mere coincidence that we do live out our lives as if relationships were the primary task of living because God designed human beings from the very beginning to be relational creatures. In the Biblical book of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, God creates Adam and Eve, the first man and woman within the Garden of Eden. What they are to do is to be in relationship with each other, with the wildlife, and with their Creator. The divine perspective on life tells us that whatever else we might be doing here on this planet, the primary reason we are here is for relationship. Religion often approaches faith from the perspective of official teachings, guidelines, and observances. Spirituality is the very relationships upon which the concepts of religion are based. Christianity is clear; if you intend to have enriching interactions with other people in this world, you need first and foremost to have a personal connection to God.