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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Relationships: Personal or Clinical?



*Clin-i-cal: efficient and unemotional, coldly detached.
                synonyms: detached, impersonal, dispassionate, uninvolved, indifferent,
                                                 
As I was studying from Colossians chapter two yesterday I suddenly thought of the word “Clinical” in context to Paul’s praying that his readers were “knit together in love.” (Colossians 2:2 KJV)  I realized that he was talking about the close and personal relationship the members of the churches he was addressing had and not a distant, sort of “Clinical” collaboration.  That thought gave me some instant answers to the frustrations I have experienced in my interactions with some individuals and also brought home the question of the type of relationship I have with Papa God.

Do I enjoy and participate in a close and intimate relationship with Him, or is it strictly on a clinical level?  Well, if you’ve been following this blog you know that I have answered that question, as I have always strived to attain the same close and personal relationship with the Father as my wife seems to have always enjoyed since the first day I met her.

I was talking to her this morning and was explaining that it just seemed like we opened up our hearts to each from the very beginning of our relationship.  At times I get a bit confused when I see couples hiding things from each other, or having a difficult time expressing their inner most thoughts and feelings to each other.  To not be completely open and honest with each other would be very foreign to Piper and I.

That is the way I always ran the ministry programs I was involved with in the church and was an integral part of my management style in the secular positions I held through the years.  My first goal in any situation was always to build a personal relationship with my team be they adults, leaders, youth or kids!  I am simply more comfortable to operate from a heart knowledge of those I interact with than from a dispassionate and/or distant position.

Over the years I have also learned that operating from a heart knowledge position can backfire and open you up to some hurtful times.  It seems that while this approach can help you to minister in a more sincere and I believe a more helpful manner, it also can expose some of the more tender and intimate areas of your inner soul!  There have been a few times in my past in both the church and secular jobs I’ve had, when people I reached out to and trusted, turned on me and injured some of the more tender places within me.  As I’ve mentioned before, some of the most hurtful events have occurred within the recent interactions with individuals concerning the attack on my wife’s health.

I have always been a very hands on person.  When I get involved with something, I like to get in and get dirty (sort to speak!)  I enjoy lots of personal and open contact and interaction with everyone involved.  I find it very difficult to keep relationships with friends and family at a clinical level, but I learned the hard way that this is exactly what I have needed to do with some folks in order to protect my wife and I as we have been on the roller-coaster ride of emotions, tough decisions and radical lifestyle changes, while  staying focused and in faith with the results promised us in the Word of God.

I can see that for some individuals, the clinical approach is a protection mechanism and a way to deal with their own emotions and hurts that they must someday face.  What I don’t like is the way it closes them off from being a loving and helpful part of the lives of the loved ones around them.

As I get older I am coming to realize that I want to be an open book and a strong and joyful blessing to those around me.  I don’t want to leave this world in a bitter, dispassionate manner that steals the joy from those I love.  I have seen too much of that with friends in the church, neighbors, acquaintances and even some close family members who have passed before me.

This thought really hit home these last few weeks as I tweaked my back helping my wife one morning and have repeatedly found myself whining about it!  But once again, I am thankful that even though she has been increasingly less responsive to me, my lovely wife still speaks to my heart as I clearly hear her words of encouragement that challenge me to stop feeling sorry for myself and rejoice in the goodness of the Lord and be thankful for the opportunities I have to be a joyful and strong assistant and example of God’s love to her!

What do you think about all that?  What level of relationship do you have with those around you… or with God.  Is it at a personal, intimate level or clinically dispassionate, impersonal and distant… or somewhere in-between?  Maybe it is time to take down the walls, take a leap of faith and jump in with your whole self!  I’ve discovered that when I am able to let go and give my all that Papa God is then enabled to give of Himself and His kingdom blessing to me without reserve!  Have a great rest of the week, and as you do keep asking yourself… “What type of relationship with God and man am I expecting to walk in today?”

*(https://www.google.com/search?q=clinical+definition&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8)

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