This past winter my littlest girl was an Upward cheerleader for basketball. She learned twenty or more cheers and a couple of pyramids over the course of the season. There were cheers for when the team was on offense, cheers for when they played defense, cheers to encourage them before the game, and even a cute little cheer for when the game was over. And some of the cheers directed the crowd’s cheers, too.
The cheers all distilled the fundamentals of the game into simple, sometimes rhyming, statements.
Dribble it. Pass it. We want a basket.
Arms up. Arms down. Drive the ball to the ground.
When we are playing sports – or cheering for them – the goal seems simple. Executing it is a bit harder.
Have you ever thought of your friendships that way? Do your relationships have a goal?
Some months ago I saw a tweet from John Piper on a friend of a friend’s Facebook page. (Social media does have its place.)
Anyway, John Piper tweeted, “Christian relationships have this as their goal: to help each other stay satisfied in God.”
When I clicked on the link in the tweet, he went on to say how it gets worked out in practice:
It comes down to whether we taste and see that the Lord is good. I have said this to the church and I have said to pastors, and I have said to my wife: What I want from you, Noel, what I want from my staff, is for them to be happy in Jesus. The greatest ministry you can have to me is for you to enjoy Christ. And so I think when we turn that around and say, ‘Now how can I be the greatest blessing to the people around me?’ the answer is: Get up in the morning. Go to the word of God, and like George Mueller said, ‘Get your heart happy in God before you meet other people.'” — John Piper
This sort of changes the playing field when you think about relationships.
If we are committed to loving God in such a way that we love others into loving him more, it will color our relationships with each other.
Love God, love others is a simply stated goal. Executing the goal is a bit harder. But knowing what we are trying to do, helps a lot. Focusing on the goal increases the likelihood of arriving at it.