We are called to live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16-21).
If we cannot maintain healthy relationships with the people in our lives,
then our relationship with God will be impaired.
Relationships are important to God. God is more interested in having a relationship with us than watching us follow a set of religious rules. Our relationships with each other are just as important to God. In fact, the way we treat one another also affects our relationship with God.
God is Not Interested in Our Religious Rules.
13 And so the Lord says,
“These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me
is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
14 Because of this, I will once again astound these hypocrites
with amazing wonders.
The wisdom of the wise will pass away,
and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear.”
Isaiah 29:13-14 NLT
We spend a lot of time going to Sunday morning services and Wednesday night Bible studies. We pay our tithes, we belong to the right auxiliary church group, and we even show up at special church events.
We do these things with the hope that God will see us putting in the effort to do what His Word told us to do. However, simply going through the motions is not honoring to God. God cares about our heart behind the actions, not the actions themselves.
Likewise, it is not enough to go through the motions of being kind to others, offering a smile and friendly word to their face without truly caring about them as a person. Christ said that the second greatest commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). This means showing genuine concern for their wellbeing, just as you would for yourself or the people closest to you
In Genesis, we see that God made man in His own image. We cannot love God but hate our neighbor if this person is made in the image of the God we claim to love.
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
1st John 1:5-7 NLT
Verse 6 states that we are lying to ourselves if we say that we have a relationship with God but continue to live in spiritual darkness. We need to define what spiritual darkness is in this context.
Spiritual Darkness Definition:
9 If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness.
1st John 2:9 NLT
Yes, the broken relationships in your life can negatively affect your relationship with God. You cannot love God while simultaneously hating the people He has called you to love.
“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?”
1st John 4:20 NLT