If you’ve never seen the movie “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, you are truly missing out. One of my favorite parts is when Ryan Reynolds is laying in the floor singing “It takes two to make a thing go right, it takes two to make it outta sight!”
I’m sure you’ve also heard the phrase, “it takes two to tango,” or “there are two sides to every story.”
I’m learning something: it really takes three.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
One of my pastor’s preached on the idea that your vertical relationship needs to be right for your horizontal relationships to be right.
We were made for community and fellowship; to be surrounded by those that encourage us and push us to be our best selves. We were also made to encourage others, and be that community for others.
What does that mean? Our vertical relationship with God must be right, our foundation must be laid, and our identity must be grounded in the fact that we have been saved by grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
With such a foundation, we are empowered to love others the way Christ loves His church. We are given the strength, through Jesus, to provide encouragement and sweet fellowship within our horizontal relationships. We can truly forgive, because we have been forgiven.
We fall short, we let each other down, we are imperfect beings.
But we were created by a perfect God, willing to intercede on our behalf and be present with us and within our relationships if we just let Him in.
I’m still working on this, and I am sure it will be something I work on forever, but I am certain that most of the relationships I have had without any Godly direction were reckless relationships that were destined to end with pain and bitterness. And those that didn’t end, haven’t been as fruitful without Christ in the center.
Those grounded in Christ have been beautiful, not perfect by any means, but most definitely precious.
Why? Because when we place our identity and worth in other people and they let us down, we have nothing to fall on. We have a hard time reconciling and forgiving, and a more difficult time moving forward.
When we place our identity in Christ, and people let us down, we fall on Him. Not to say it doesn’t hurt, but we can forgive. We can move forward. We can rest on the fact that if we trust in Him with all our heart, and lean not onto our own understanding, He will make our paths straight (Prov 3:5-6).
I am thankful for the gospel because it is teaching me how to love without conditions. It is teaching me to turn the other cheek and forgive. Most of all, it is reminding me how imperfect we all are, but that we are so loved by someone who died to know us.
A strand of three cords is not easily broken. It takes three. Let Him in.
Fix the vertical relationship and let Him work in your horizontal relationships.