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Task or Relationship Oriented?

May 21, 2014 | by: Mike Law | 0 Comments

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Reflections |

As I was praying for my children, during my quiet time earlier in the week, I reflected on how valuable moments with my children are and how sadly, in my pride, I don’t value them enough. Moments are those brief spans of time in which relationships are built. You see, I often take a task oriented perspective on life, and while God has certainly called me to be task-oriented toward many things, there is one thing that he hasn’t called me to be task oriented towards – people. When I begin viewing my interactions with my children, my spouse, my fellow church members, or any other human being for that matter as a transaction of information exchange for the purpose of accomplishing my next task, then I think that I have certainly taken steps away from pursuing Christ-likeness. At the end of the day, drawing out data from others for the purposes of accomplishing my next task makes life all about me, and that is prideful.

Now, I suspect that I am not alone in this struggle. Living in the DC area, we breathe the air of this “must get done.” We live in a culture of tasks to be accomplished and deadlines to be met. Emails and texts and tweets are typically information-exchange ports, and not typically relationship building exercises. I don’t experience this struggle every moment of my life, and I suspect the same is true for you, but perhaps given our environment we’re more susceptible to giving in to the temptation to treat people as computer servers that contain the information we need more than we treat them as those made in the image of God. To be fair, there are times we need information from people, but I don’t think that is to be our primary orientation towards others and yet far too often it is.

So, how do we fight against this temptation to depersonalize persons and reclaim those brief spans of time in which relationship are built? I think that the answer begins (and ends) with Jesus. Jesus came not simply to accomplish a task, though he certainly did accomplish a task given to him by the Father, but to call people to personally know him in faith. If we want to grow in our relationships with others, then we must grow in our relationship with Christ, for he is the one who will truly teach us what it means to love others and to relate to them as he has always intended us to.

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