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Relationships that Bring Change
So the last lecture, as I said, this is going to be short and then I want you to discuss more how we can build more meaningful relationships in our lives. And when we are able to build a meaningful relationship in our lives, then we are truly free. You don’t need to be so obsessed about ourselves and then we can bring about real change in us, in others and in the society they will live in and that’s where true transformation happens. Jesus Christ came not in a vacuum and Jesus Christ does not bring about transformation, not individually alone. Jesus brings about transformation in a relationship through a relationship. That’s why Jesus Christ called the disciples and made relationships with them for three years so that they can go out and build a new kind of relationship with others. It is very different from the old power related relationship. This new relationship is a love-related relationship and Jesus taught them what, how to have that relationship so that they can.
They may go out and build relationships with others. It’s not. We don’t need that many people to bring about transformation. The world is not changed by the majority. The world is not transformed by the great multitude. When you look at the change of the world, that world was transformed by a few people by small, committed people, and they made a transformation in the world. You know the very famous our anthropologist Margaret Mead and Margaret Mead said this: never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. I think she saw it right, not the multitude, not the majority changed the world, few dedicated. Few dedicated people change the world. And that’s it only then they change the world. That’s why Jesus said, walk the narrow path. Jesus Christ came alone and he had only 12 disciples to bring about change.
So God came, Jesus Christ came to teach us that new kind of relationship and we want to learn this new kind of relationship so that we can relate to other people in a new way. Now, in the way, everybody relates to each other, not in the way the world of relates to each other that we want to build. What is the quality of the relationship that I wanna relate to people, witch and everything begins with our relationship with God? When we can build a true I thou relationship not religious relationship. I’m not talking about religion, I don’t want you to be religious alone. That itself will not change anything. Jesus Christ was also a victim of that religion at that time, so being religious is not really the only answer, but I want you to have genuine, real I thou relationship with God and then you can be a healing presence for other people, not only for yourself but to other people through quality relationship.
Relationships that Bring Healing
My life can bring healing to other people. we saw a few examples already that I mentioned about the person that I counselled with, and then a few through that relationship they truly brought about the transformation. As you see there are, there are a destructive relationship and healing relationship and we want to build healing, relationship, not a destructive relationship. Then I thou relationship is necessary. Then I like to see examine some of it and Chung moksanim had a book. Actually, I and Thou by Martin Buber, but, you read this for a long time ago and then, and, this is a book, but probably if you read it, it will be quite different from what I’m saying because is pretty difficult to read. First of all, when you read it, you’ll get confused a second. Second of all, I just use a title, borrowed his title, so I’m not really summarizing his book, but, that will give you a lot of, ideas about either our relationship and I thou relationship is the only relationship that can bring about transformation.
I-if relationship. Doesn’t matter how long you build a relationship with another person that I-if relationship will not bring about transformation. When we are able to truly seek others. I said three things, in a relationship. Either you manipulate others or you become manipulated, or third, you can truly seek others and either relationship is truly sick. Other other people, you know, love is funny and strange. Love is by nature giving yourself to others. But as a result, the person who gives love receives tremendous healing as they give love, you practice it when you give love to somebody. Then as a result, strangely, you experienced tremendous healing in your own self. Henry Nowan, he’s a, he was a professor at Harvard University. He was a well-known professor and he was respected. His life was going well, but he wasn’t happy. So he quit his university position. He came to large community daybreak community here in Richmond Hill area.
So he helped, mentally and physically challenged people. They, they cannot even get up by themselves. So he has to go and then wakes them up and takes him to the wheelchair and it carries them. And, he, he did that every day and he did conversation. And this person has no idea about Harvard. If he says, okay, I’m from Harvard University University, he will know what Harvard is. So I mean, he had to relate to this person, not as a Harvard professor, not as somebody who achieves so much, but as just as a human being. And he related out and he gave a lot of love to this person. And at the end he said, I was changed. I experienced my own healing by taking care of this person. So love is strange when you give, actually, you receive healing in your own life. So when you are able to give love to the people around you, ultimately you receive that love, as a result by giving love, we experience our vision, not when I, oh, I want to be safe.
Not when I say that, but when you truly give love, you experience salvation. And Salvation is the restoration of relationship, relationship with God and relationship with each other. That’s what salvation is. When there is a relationship problem between when there was a relationship problem between Adam and Eve. This is what Adam said. before What did he say first? He saw him. What did he say? You are bone of my bones. The flesh of my flesh. Wow. So beautiful. Hey, you and I are so connected. We are almost one together. But after they had a fight, this is what Adam said, the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree and I ate very differently. She’s not bone on bone or flesh of flesh. The woman you gave to me, you know, he’s blaming God. He’s blaming the woman at, at the same time.
When we cannot Show Ourself
It’s very different. There is no bone of my bones. Only the woman whom you gave to be with me. She’s not thou anymore. She has become it or other and he blames her and also blamed God. But when you look at it, before this happened, already broken relationship happened, with God. When this, before he said this, he said about God this way. I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid. He was always naked, but all of a sudden he was embarrassed about his nakedness. I think the Genesis writer, knew human psychology very well.
When a relationship is broken, we are afraid of our own nakedness. We cannot be ourselves in true I thou relationship. You can be yourself as weak as you are. You are free to be yourself, but when that I thou relationship is broken, you are not any more free to be yourself. Pretension takes over. You have to show the good side of yourself and you’re embarrassed about your nakedness, your darkness, your weaknesses, but when I thou relationship is truly formed, then all this pretension disappear and then you become totally free to be yourself. I thou relationship gives freedom to be who we are, not scared of our faults and shortcomings, so when you come to God, when you have me thou relationship, you can truly be naked to God, but if your relationship with God is not I-Thou relationship, you’ll be scared of God. You will not come to God with a naked self.
You have to somehow show your good side of it and already that relationship is a broken relationship, but with God, there’s no other relationship but I thou relationship with human beings. We can have other relationships, but with God the only relationship that is possible is I thou relationship where you’re completely free to be yourself, to show your shortcomings. So yesterday we saw today or yesterday, I’m not sure, but, we saw that Paul, after meeting Christ, he was able to show his naked self instead of saying that, oh I used to be bad, but I am good now. But now he could truly show his weaknesses, his darkness and his shortcomings. Being free to be who you are instead of running away is healing. That Samaritan woman we explored, she tried to run away, run away from people. She shot herself from the rest of the people and she was in her own closet.
Jesus went there and brought her out and brought about the transformation and she was free. Now she was free to dance. She was free to run, she was free to fly and she ran to the community. And then told them that this Jesus changed me and transformed me. That’s what I thou relationship does to people. Freedom from their bondage. Empower them to go beyond their weaknesses. Give them the courage to accept who they are, no matter how painful that may be open their hearts to be connected with others. We are all in sense victims of expectations, judgment and condemnation of the world. John Welwood said in his book, “Perfect love, imperfect relationships”, he said: expectations in relationships, can often be a subtle form of violence, for they can be a demand that others conform to our will, so sometimes expectations are poison because it can be a subtle form of violence in the relationship.
Good I, Bad Other
Many times through our relationships, instead of feeling liberated and empowered, we feel trapped, chained and belittled, and then you cannot demand the other person to continue that relationship. When you feel belittled, when you feel chained, when you feel trapped, you have to deal with that relationship first before just asking that person to continue that relationship. Sometimes we are way too judgmental of each other. The less you demand total fulfillment from the relationship, the more you can appreciate them. For the beautiful tapestries, they are in which absolute and relative perfect and imperfect, infinite and finite are marvellously interwoven. You can experience that tapestry. Within us. We all have this thing. Good. I versus bad other that mentality kills the relationship. There is a word between good I and bad other and actually bad other is an internal image of the person who doesn’t love us. Whoever does not love us. We label them sometimes as bad other our relationship. Instead of loving, of lifting relationship, they have become a competition of who is right and who is more righteous. When you make the other bad, you cannot have genuine relationships. As I said, if you don’t find beauty in other people, you cannot have I thou relationship. When you make another person as bad, then you cannot build a genuine real relationship. So we need to, think about this. Good. I and bad. Other.
Think about yourself whether you have this good I, bad another attitude in you. I’m always good. I’m always right. Always the other person is bad and always the other person is wrong. Think about whether you have this good I, bad other mentality within you because that mentality is very opposite of biblical teaching. You may think that this is right, but this is self-righteousness without realizing you have fallen into your own self Righteousness. I’m always right and others are always wrong and, you’re busy proving that others are wrong and you’re right. Even by destroying the relationship, you try to prove that others are wrong, but the relationship is broken but doesn’t matter. I am right. They are wrong. That’s what matter that good I, bad other mentality kills and destroys the relationship. Let me give you biblical example whether this is biblical mentality or not. It is the opposite of what the Bible says. Let me give you a little example for you first, “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others better than yourselves.”
Is it this teaching? Good I, bad other? No, Paul teaches: consider others better than yourself. Let me give you another example. This time, this time it’s Jesus’ teaching: “do not judge so that you may not be judged for with the judgement you make, you will be judged and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? You see Spec in another side, but you don’t see. Log in your own eyes it’s not good I, bad another teaching I have a law. Jesus said, others have only a Spec, maybe good other bad I, and it is a very different from this teaching and typical example of the opposite of this teaching is Jesus teaching about Pharisee’s prayer. Let me read it, and then you listen two men went up to the temple to pray one a Pharisee and the other, a tax collector.
The Pharisee standing by himself was praying to us. “God, I thank you that I am not like other people”. What is he doing? Good, I bad other, thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give a 10th of all my income. Good I, bad other, but at the end, you know what did what Jesus said. Do you know who went home? Considered righteous by God. Not pharisee, but tax collector. He was proven wrong. St. Paul had this good I, bad another attitude when before he met God in an I thou relationship, he went out to persecute Christians and then he said this to himself. He said, listen, if anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more circumcised. On the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews, as to the law of Pharisee, as the zeal a persecutor of the church as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Good, he was full of good I and he went out to capture the bad other. That’s when he met the risen Christ, and then everything collapsed. Everything he believed collapse. This is what he said after meeting Christ Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the foremost.
This is after he met Christ. No more good I bad Other mentality in Paul, in a relationship this good I bad other mentality is always in the way. As long as we have this mentality, the relationship cannot last long or get deepened. When people do that, first you fight, but there are so strong because they want to prove that I am right and you’re wrong until even though relationships are broken, so then after a while you don’t even try. When that person says, I am. Right, okay, you’re right, but is there a relationship you just move on? But the relationship is not deepened. Other people just avoid. It’s not that they agree with you. They avoid any conflict. So this good. I bet another relationship is always in the way. John Welwood said, the most destructive element in human relationships is the urge to make other people bad or wrong, and then judge reject or punish them for that. When you fail to grieve your own hurt, you create grievance within you. And I’m going to just talk about five As for you and then I want you to let you go and then discuss, there are five a’s in his book. How to be an adult in relationships. First is attention.
Attention is when I, thou relationship occurs. Everything else goes into the background. The person you’re talking to becomes the entire universe. It shows how interested you are in that person while listening to someone. If you’re thinking about something else, you’re not giving attention. So when you build wanna build, build a good relationship, learn to give attention in the fellowship hall or whatever. When you hear somebody then don’t get distracted. You pay total attention to that person. As I said about them, the men that I met in Brazil, when he listened to me, he looked at me as though I am the entire universe and he was very interested in what I have to say. But Lot of times when we hear other people, well, what do we do? We are thinking of something else, you know? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Really? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
You know, you’re not sure what you heard, you know, you just want to pretend that you heard, but give total attention is difficult because we are scattered we are distracted. There’s a book that, I was reading a by Carr Nicholas and that title is: the shallows what the Internet is doing to our brains. I mean, this, Internet, age is very difficult to have real a real attention and concentration. He, this is what he said and what the net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words, now I zip along the surface like a guy on a jet ski so he cannot really enter into the ocean of words and enter into the ocean of thoughts, enter into the ocean of the other people. We’re just zipping along just this person and that person and we cannot really have concentration and this will affect our relationship.
How do we communicate? A lot of times with text message, you know, very short, especially with the iPhone is really, really hard to write anything. So I just. Okay. Yes, just, just one or two words, right? That’s how we communicate. And with that how can you talk about your feelings? How can you talk about your deep thoughts, your struggles and, we are so used to this kind of form of communication. And also, a lot of times we are filled with our own agenda. When you listen to people, paying attention means you’re not judging that person, but as soon as you hear one word already make a judgment and, you don’t listen. Really, you’re listening to your own voice, you know, they are talking, but you’re creating your own novel, you know, by listening to their stories, you’re making up your own stories because of the, you’re not paying you’re filled with your own agenda.
So when you listen to other people, pay attention, truly listen. Anthony Demello said a lot of people see persons and things not as they are, but as you are, we see things not as they are, but as we are let down all our prejudgments and pay attention to what they say. Second, acceptance. You don’t have to agree with everyone. The fact that we don’t agree with them can make us very uncomfortable, but we have to accept the fact that people are different. People are different. And when, and we have to learn to accept people who are different from us. We don’t have to always change them to be like us. So that we may relate to them. Accepting, accepting somebody means to respect their choices, their feelings, and their personal traits. When a woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus and Jesus said, let those who have no sin cast the first stone, Jesus accepted the sinners and outcasts without moralizing them accepting somebody is opposite of moralizing them.
You don’t have to agree with their lifestyle. You don’t have to agree with their philosophy, you don’t have to agree with what they say, but we have to learn to accept them as they are. We need to be a bigger person to accept those who are different. We try to earn love through our efforts, looks talents and achievements. By doing that, we may earn approval, but what we need is love that. Accept us as we are. We want to be where we are accepted and then we should practice this acceptance instead of trying to make changes so fast. By doing that, you don’t change anybody. Third, appreciation. Appreciation is finding good values in each person. Everyone has a beautiful, good quality and we discover that good quality, that’s talent. When you discover others faults, you’re not genius because everybody knows how to do it, but when you find a good value that other people don’t find, then you’re genius, you can find treasure in every person. That woman who’s was 20 years older than, than the person that I mentioned in the first night, that woman found treasure in him and then he, she was able to help him and transformed him. John M Gutman a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. He said, the ratio of appreciation to the complaint in couples that stay together. You know what? That is? Five to one.
People who stayed together. They give appreciation five times more than the complaints. So in your all those married couples, learn to show appreciation. Learn to express appreciation when you are thankful, don’t just be thankful inside. Say it, express it. Thank you. And then by doing that, you build a better relationship. When we are appreciated, we know it, we feel valued. I know when I’m appreciated, I feel good. I feel empowered, I feel precious and I can move on in spite of the fact that I have shortcomings, I can move on through that appreciation and I’m going to move to the next.. in building I, thou relationship. Finding others. Precious quality is very important. Uh, and of course you have to be very sincere about your appreciation for people like me. If you say, oh, you’re so tall and handsome, then that person is half right.
I mean, so when you show appreciation, you have to be genuine and sincere. You cannot make up then that’s not appreciated. That’s a ridiculing Somebody next, affection. Love is our primary need. Relationship. Grows on love. Like a tree cannot grow without water. Relationships cannot grow without love. Love is a warm feeling, but it is not just warm. Feeling. Love is the way you respond to different situations. Let me tell you when love meets suffering and pain, love is expressed as compassion, but when love needs enemies, it is expressed as forgiveness. When love meets, the evil, the love is expressed as justice, to people who are kind to us. Love shows appreciation to people who want to stay away from us because they are angry. Love waits, to people who misunderstand us, love explains to them and helps them understand to people who cannot stand us.
Relationship not in our Control
Love embraces them as the ocean. Embrace the water. Rivers, bring down, and as the sky embraces the cloud to people who need us, love stays with them and be with them. So love has many different faces. Love is the way you respond to different situations and expresses itself in different ways. So love is not just always warm, fuzzy feeling sometimes because of love. You speak the truth sometimes because of love you are firm sometimes because of love. You critique. So love expresses itself in many different ways. The last, an allowing. So first let’s go over. First one is what? Attention, second acceptance, third appreciation and fourth affection. Try to remember this. And then in your relationship, try to, be aware of these five, five an’s. The last one is most difficult. That is allowing, but that is most important. We allow people who they are, we let people express their pain, their hurt, their deep needs, and even their deep insecurities. We allow them to do so because that’s what our Lord Jesus did. He allowed Peter to deny him.
The cross is the ultimate expression of allowing. When you read the last part, the last supper in John, Jesus said this, Jesus knew exactly who was going to betray him. Judas. He said, one of you will betray me, and then he gave everyone the element and then he said this, do it to Judas. Do quickly what you’re going to do. He allowed Judas to be trained and to the end, he gave the bread and wine. This allowing is very painful and very difficult, but Jesus did it. Jesus did not say, Judas Why are you trying to do that? Don’t do it. Jesus knew that that won’t be helpful. Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him, so he allowed Judas to betray him. I thou relationship gives, total freedom to the other. A true relationship is possible only in this total freedom. A true relationship is not in our control. So these five A’s. I’m going to stop here tonight and I want you to go to your group and share it together. Uh, and you come back and then because it’s last night, I don’t know. How much time do we have? Yeah. Including group discussion. How much time. Oh, what time are they supposed to finish their group discussion? Nine o’clock. Really? Yeah. Can you come back a 10 tonight? I said sure. Okay. Nine o’clock. Okay. So can you come back at 9:00 and share a little bit of what you discussed and I liked to hear all the groups sharing that. What is the best way? Attitude or behaviour to build good either relationship.