Human relationships are not for the faint hearted. They can leave us feeling disillusioned and downright disappointed with the lack of intimacy and honest connection. I know my expectations are usually too great, too much for even the most considerate person to bear.
Give me relationship with the Holy Spirit, intimacy with the living Christ or closeness with the Creator God. It feels much safer than mingling with the masses on planet Earth.
Over the years I have reconciled myself to this overriding reality;
Every person I meet in life has the potential to fall far short of my expectations and desires for connection with them. Just as I do. It sounds elementary, but this simple truth is easily forgotten.
‘Now while He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs He was performing and believed in His name. But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all people. He did not need human testimony about them, for He knew what was in them’- John 2 v 24-25
I explored this passage in the context of relationships…
I noticed that Jesus did not rely on the approval of others; it was never His focus or aim. If the people loved Him- so be it. If the people hated Him- so be it.
Jesus knew human nature; He knew the tides of popularity were likely to turn, that the attitudes and perspectives of others could change and fluctuate. He knew people’s propensity to switch allegiance in a heartbeat. After all, their ‘belief’ in Him was based purely upon what they had seen with their eyes and nothing more. Their belief had no roots, no firm foundation.
There was no depth of faith.
In His wisdom Jesus accepted each person’s personal weaknesses, vulnerabilities, issues and problems. Not ‘entrusting Himself’ to them was not a statement of Jesus’s suspicion and hurt, but of His acceptance and grace.
He had realistic expectations of the fallen nature of human relationships.
What was Jesus doing here? I believe He was guarding His heart, guarding His heart from entering into a false sense of security in human nature. This is a tricky line to balance.
It’s not that we don’t believe the best of people. It’s that we believe the best… but don’t withdraw if we get the worst.
This principle is a key to loving and fulfilling relationships. We need to learn how to guard our hearts; not placing anyone on a pedestal, but seeking to love and honour every person we meet. Loving one another whilst fully understanding our capacity to build up and tear down.
Jesus did not let this awareness of human nature deter Him from reaching out and loving us past our sin. Neither should we.
As He is, so are we in this world (1John 4 v 17).
We can do this; we can guard our hearts while sharing our hearts with others. It’s in our nature.
How do you relate to others?