What is Relational Integrity?
Relational = “concerning the way in which two or more people or things are connected”
Integrity = “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”
This last year and a half I have been fully immersed in discipleship ministry. We grew together, hurting, hugging, helping, and healing. We learned about the quality of being honest, moral, and connected—about relational integrity.
Relational integrity at its best is seen in Jesus Christ. Consider His honest words to us through the faithful aged disciples imprisoned on the isle of Patmos. Jesus says in part:
You don’t love Me as you did—Ephesus
Some among you say you are My people when you not—Smyrna, Philadelphia
You are allowing things into your life which I hate—Pergamos
You are allowing people to teach ideas that lead to faithless self-worship—Thyatira
You are believers in name but the relationship we once had is lifeless and dying—Sardis
You make Me want to throw up with all your knowledge minus practical love and faith Please let Me back into your life so that we can turn this around and make our relationship hot again—Laodicea
Jesus responds to our relational failures by turning up the heat on His unchanging love.
But that’s only part of the message. In the context of these failures (that not one of us are immune to), there is in God “no variableness neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Even in the prophetic book of Revelation Jesus responds to our relational failures by turning up the heat on His unchanging love.
First-God stays with us in spite of us, He is in our “midst” (Revelation 1:13).
Second-God affirms us and communicates to us from the perspective of acceptance and hope (Revelation 2:2).
Third-God is honest with us, He doesn’t gloss over our failures—it’s not always easy to be honest (Revelation 2:4).
Fourth-God makes promises to restore us (Revelation 2:7).
Fifth-God fulfills His promises to us and conquers sin and death in our behalf (Revelation1:5, 18).
Sixth-God exercises faith towards us by giving us time to respond to His goodness and turn around (Revelation 2:21).
Seventh-God exposes the true source of our dysfunctional relationship with Him and with each other (Revelation 2:24). And guess what? The source of our dysfunction is not Him.
God has all the relational integrity and we have all the need. He has promised to provide what we by nature fail to bring. His simple request—open the door and connect with Me. (Revelation 3:20). The reason? I love you (Revelation 3:19). Your answer . . . ?