Relationships and government are two central aspects of life on earth. When speaking of relationships, we generally refer to two or more persons assuming roles that are oriented toward one another (husband and wife, mother, father and children [siblings], etc.). Such relationships are specific and much more complex than the average person cares to recognize. It is often the case that human beings engage in such relationships with little thought of what their role entails, operating by some form of “instinct” that is frequently driven by self-centered urges. When speaking of government, we refer to the control one exercises over abilities and tendencies. When combining the two (relationships and government), we should be able to appreciate the dynamic role they play in shaping life on planet earth.
Relationships (Part One)
The most important relational consideration is one’s relationship with the Creator. I often ask people if they believe that everyone has a relationship with God. Through the ensuing discussion, I aim to make the point that, in fact, everyone has a relationship with God. The only difference is some have a right relationship, and some have a wrong relationship. The approach one takes toward this primary relationship will affect every other relational issue we face. The fundamental starting point for all other relationships is one’s relationship with God. If our relationship with God is wrong, the foundation has been laid for all other relationships to be fundamentally flawed. The essence of a wrong relationship with God is to place greater value on anything or anyone than the value one recognizes in God. I once had a young man admit that he had been living a self-centered life, declaring that he was going to abandon this approach. In response to this declaration, I thought, “Good.” He proceeded to state, “I am going to live to please my wife and daughter.” To this, I thought, “Not good,” replying, unless you live to please God supremely, your wife will never have the husband God wants her to have and your daughter will never have the father God wants her to have.” Proper relationship with God is the foundation for approaching all other relationships properly.
A right relationship with God is based on the recognition and full embrace of His intrinsic supremacy. It is not based on using God as a means of furthering one’s selfish interests – giving God permission to take you to heaven, bless you, “save” you or any other variation of a self-centered proposition. Jesus stated, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Mt.16:24-25).
I find it hard to believe that there is a general assumption that correcting one’s relationship with God is a simple matter of saying a few magical words or merely asking for forgiveness when, in fact, one’s heart has never changed, requesting religious party-favors for a supremely selfish motive. The importance of having a right foundation upon which to build all other aspects of life is emphasized in these words, spoken by Jesus – ” “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Lk.6:45-49)
It is significant to understand that God desires that we have a right relationship with Him, not because He is ultimately self-centered and egotistically wants personal recognition (glory). He knows that the only true foundation for love, blessing, peace and prosperity to exist in any other area of life is under His loving guidance. Therefore, we must do our best to preach, teach and declare an accurate message of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
 Of course, there are always those theological extremists that will correct the phrase “correcting one’s relationship with God,” claiming that we are incapable of and play no part in doing this.