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Intimacy and Judgment

Jesus made the twelve disciples his intimates. He sat with them all the time. He would ask them questions. Once he asked them, “Who do people say that I am?” The disciples replied that people were saying Jesus was John the Baptist, or Elijah. Jesus said, “Okay. Who do you say I am?” And Peter said, “You are the Christ.” Then Jesus warned them to tell no one. Mark 8:27-30

You see, he built intimate relationships with the disciples. He talked to them, asked their opinions, and made them His confidants.

He went on talking to them, and the Bible tells us:

He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Mark 8:31-33

That’s amazing. Jesus looked at Peter, His dear friend, and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan.” He was in essence saying, “I know who is controlling your thoughts right now, and I know which way you’re acting, and you need to get away from me. You are not who you think you are.” He said that right to Peter’s face!

Jesus was very comfortable with His intimate friends. I guarantee you He was not going to go to some random person and say, “Get behind Me, Satan.” He could have devastated people, and He understood that.

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In general, the lesson of the copper pipe can keep you from judging, but when it comes to intimate relationships, there needs to be dialogue. That is where intimate relationships are different from other relationships. Obviously I don’t think your dialogue needs to consist of telling the people closest to you, “Get behind me Satan.” You can’t see into people the way Jesus can. Still, you have to talk to your loved ones.

Our loved ones might do things that bug us, and when they do, we want them to change. The problem is, they’re never going to change. I can hear someone right now reading this and saying, “Yes, but there’s this thing that bugs me about my husband, or my wife. They need to know that it bugs me.” Well then, talk to them about it. Tell them, “This is what you’re doing that’s bugging me.” But you need to remember that they cannot change without God. Unless they choose to access His help, change will never happen.

You can’t fix a relationship. You, in your own power, cannot fix another person. But you can always ask God for help. You can ask God to show you what you need to do. You can ask God to show you who you need to be. Why not ask God to show you how to change? Maybe your wife or husband bugs you because of something you’re doing. If you’re being a jerk, they’re going to respond to that. So quit being a jerk! Then maybe they’ll start loving you as if you’re the person God means for you to be. Try saying this: “God, you know what? I need to quit telling my husband about all the things he does wrong. Instead, help me focus on doing my things right.” Or try saying this: “Hey God, I need your help. I need to stop criticizing my wife. I need to encourage her instead.”

And then you watch. You watch how that relationship changes.

See you Monday.

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