Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Hope Your Friendships Are Deeper than Andre Agassi's

Saturday afternoons are pretty intense sermon prep days for me primarily because it is non-stop from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. So, I need little points of relief throughout the day and one of the most common is checking out the headlines on This Saturday, the headline that caught my attention first was: "Ex-coach had 'no clue' Agassi was taking meth."

Here's a quote from that article by Brad Gilbert (Agassi's former trainer and friend): Because we (Gilbert and Agassi) hung out a ton, but that doesn't mean you ask things that are personal. As I read the article, I became deeply saddened by the reality of most people's relationships.

I believe that in a Biblically functioning church, relationships are intensely personal. Now granted, not everyone in the church will be best friends, but the ones you "hang out a ton" with, better be personal. How sad is it and unloving is it that we would never ask, "Hey bro, how are you doing...really?" That all we would do is gather together and watch TV, play board games, eat guacamole, but never be caring enough, be loving enough to make it personal. Recently, I had very good friend of mine asked me how I was doing in the area of spending time with my son. The long and short of it was that he was able to show me that I was, in fact, being inattentive with my son. Furthermore, this inattentiveness was resulting not just in a lack of relationship, but in a lack of discipline, which really is a lack of love that puts stress on my wife and will someday, cause my son to pay a bigger than expected price. I made the adjustment and things are much better because of good friends who ask personal questions.

With the backdrop of a hyper-individualistic and relationally desolate culture, the church must rise up and be different. We must be personal. We are in relationship with a personal God. The world didn't start with power by an isolated and alone God. It start with love and community within the triune God and out of that overflow, the world and human beings were created. Sin in your life will cause you to drift from relationships (real relationships), but as you draw near to God, expect (and inspect) that you will draw near to others as well.