Now, turning from our person-to-person relationship with God, let us think of the relationship between ourselves, that is, within our own kind. Man-to-man, in a person-to person relationship.
Man, having put himself rather than God at the center of the universe, constantly tends to turn inward instead of outward. He has made himself the last integration point of the universe. This is the essence of man’s rebellion against God. Now with God this does not make a problem, for when God turns to himself, he is Trinity, and the members of the trinity have been having love and communication among themselves before the creation of the world; perfect love and communication. So when God turns to himself as the center of the universe, there is still communication and love. But when I turn inward (and I must always realize that I begin and end with my own imperfection because I am a fallen man) there is no one to communicate with. And so each man in himself is exactly like the bullheaded minotaurus, shut up in his personal solitude in his labyrinth at Crete. This is the tragedy of man. He is not adequate and there is no one there to answer at the man-to-man level who can provide complete and perfect love and communication.
This not only leads to psychological problems, but it also destroys my relationship with others. On the other hand, when I begin really to think, act, and live as a creature in a personal relationship with the Creator, then I can turn outward, as an equal to other men. Suddenly I am no longer mumbling to myself. Once I accept myself as an equal to all men, I can talk as an equal to other men. I no longer have to talk to myself centrally and finally. If I acknowledge that I am really not God, and that since the Fall we are all sinful, then I can have true human relationships without battering myself to pieces because they are not sufficient in themselves, or because they are not perfect. The trouble with human relationships is that man without God does not realize that all men are sinful and imperfect, and so he hangs too much on his personal relationships, and they crush and break. No love affair between a man and a woman has ever been great enough to hang everything on. It will crumble away under your feet. And as the edges begin to break away the relationship is destroyed. But when I experience myself as a creature in the presence of God ‘my’ Creator and I see that the most important and highest relationship intended for me is with an infinite God, and I begin to see that these human relationships are among equals, I can take from a human relationship what God meant it to provide, without putting the whole structure under an intolerable burden. More than this, when I acknowledge that none of us are perfect in this life, I can enjoy that which is beautiful in a relationship, without expecting it to be perfect.
And thus my starting point for each day, in order to love and communicate at the highest level with my fellow-man, begins with this: God, my perfect, complete, and infinite heavenly Father, loves me perfectly and completely ‘just as I am’…in my imperfection. Because of the infinite work of Christ on the cross, wherein I have placed my faith, I belong to God’s family. I am no longer alone. He is with me and will never leave me. He is my source and supply. Only He can fill my deepest longings. In Him and through Him, I am learning to love and communicate and have genuine love for my fellow-man. We have His light shining in our hearts, ‘so that’ we can know His love and then show His love to others.
2 Corinthians 4:6-10 NLT:
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc