It is only in the vertical love relationship with God that we are prepared for the rigors of the horizontal love of neighbor. It is only in our nakedness before God that we learn how to be transparent before man. It is only as our life finds its resting place in the unconditional love of Christ that we can selflessly love others, speaking truth in love and giving grace undeserved. Only then do we begin to walk in the reality of true fellowship with one another.
Truth and Grace in the midst of authentic relationships. Only these kinds of relationships will refine us to be like Christ and usher us into truly great fellowship with others. The more real we are with each other, the more trustworthy is the “I love you” that we receive. Otherwise we are only “loved” for who we claim to be in public and not for who we truly are in private.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Jesus replied: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “ Matthew 22:37-40
It is only in the vertical love relationship with God that we are prepared for the rigors of the horizontal love of neighbor. Draw near to Christ and let Him show you the way to draw near to others.