Relationship, Not Humanistic

Relationship, Not Humanistic

Pastor Vincent - 30 October 2022

Weekend Devotion: Relationship, Not Humanistic

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If there is one thing we fallen men has been fearing since day one of our existence, it is fearing man. We fear what men think of us, we fear that men do not stand on our side, we fear the threats of men. And that is why we often give in to the expectations or demands of men. As we live in all these fears, we turn humanistic. We are shaped by the opinions and perspectives of human men, even though most often than not, men around us have no regard for the things of God. We elevate man’s view to the point that we no longer stand for anything as believers of God at times. 

 

We saw that in the case of our first ancestral fall. Adam gave in to Eve, when Eve gave him the forbidden food. We saw that in the case of Aaron, when he gave in to the adulterous demands of the Israelites to build a calf for them. We saw that in the case of Solomon, though secure in his kingdom, marry many foreign wives for political expediency. Those people sinned, because they’re all men-pleasers, not God pleasers. They became men- fearers, not God fearers. And indeed, if we take a hard look at ourselves, we’ve grown to fear men so much that we’ve lost the sense of fearing God. There are so many Christians I know who hold men in so high regard that they do not even consider what the bible instructs. There are those who dare not even mentioned about their faith on social media for fear that people will view them as religious freak.

 

We’ve fear too much, my brethren. We’ve fear too much to live and express our Christian identity freely. And when we are not free, we are not wise. And when we are not free, we are not loving also. We will always be too careful and not speak loving truth to others.

 

Now, there may be people who says: “How about relationship? Aren’t we call to value relationship? Aren’t we call to respect others and not impose our views on others? Oh yes, we are taught that in the Bible too. But let’s understand the nuances between relationship and humanistic.

 

For many, the lines have been blurred.

 

Now, the bible teaches us that relationship is not based primarily on fearing man. Yes, we live in a culture, but relationship is not primarily abiding to social norms. Rather, it is first to know where relationship starts from. It starts from our relationship with God. It starts from knowing Him as the Creator, and I as a creature.

 

Next, we value the human relationship that He has given us. And we value human relationship through a few principles he has given us.

 

First, we take away falsehood <Eph 4:25>. We don’t build relationship with the purpose to be well-liked, to be popular. Rather, we build relationship for mutual edification. And to achieve that in a fallen world, where we are dealing with sinners every day, we’ve to learn to be sacrificial like our Lord Jesus. We learn to be giving. As we speak truths to others, we also offer our help, care and comfort to others. And also, true relationship has to be principled. There is a principle we hold on to in our relationship to others. We should not let people violate or manipulate us just because we are sacrificial. There are many a times people tell me: “Oh Pastor, I felt so bad that because some family members or some friends feel that I didn’t help them enough. I’ve done all I could, but I couldn’t give more”.

 

Now, I always encounter such people – people who are so easily guilt trip by others. Now, I would say there are principles that the Bible teaches us in dealing with others. While we should learn to be giving, or even learn to be forgiving, but letting ourselves be guilt trip by others, or letting ourselves be demanded relentlessly by others will only show that we are fearing man, not God. And we will only end up letting ourselves be manipulated or made use of by others. That will not help us in loving others, but instead subject us to bitterness.

 

And lastly, relationship always carry the Creator’s redemptive purpose.

 

When God forms relationship for us, we must know there are eternal purpose in it. When the Son of God die on the Cross, HE reconciled men to Him. So by giving us human relationships, there is a godly obligation for us to minister the gospel to them, such that they will come to the saving grace of God. If not, human relationship holds no real value in a perishing world.  

 

So very quickly, how should we value and built relationship? No falsehood, be sacrificial, principled and remember the redemptive purpose behind all human relationships.  

 

So we’re done with relationship. But very quickly, let’s understand what is humanistic?

 

Humanistic is individual to start with. It values the “Self” first. And in order to benefit myself, I’ve to be nice and accommodating to others. I’ve to try in all my ability not to offend others, to respect others. I’ve to hold others in high esteem. Why? Does it come from a genuine love for men? Does it come from truly loving man’s soul? No. It comes from the inclination of fearing men. And such a person, in his endeavor to be well-liked, to be popular, loses himself. In fact, he is not his own man, rather he lives in the world of others. My brethren, this world is filled with humanistic values. And where humanism thrives, godliness diminishes. And what is the end result of it? The Bible says: There will be increase of wickedness, and the love of most will grow cold <Mt 24:12>.

 

So my brethren, humanism leads nowhere. In fact, it leads us down the pit of destruction. Relationship is what God gives us, and we’ve to cherish it and build it God’s way.

 

Now, let me end with this especially for you who have been fearing men all your lives. <Ps 118:8>: It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

 

Take heart. Don’t live to fear man, but live to fear God. Be not afraid. What can mere mortals do to you? Therefore my brethren, pursue relationship and away from being humanistic.

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Pastor Vincent Choo
choochisan@gmail.com

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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