Facebook friends. Instagram and Twitter followers. Linked-In connections. These represent just a few of the ways people relate to one another and stay connected on a personal, social, and professional level. Given the number of options to share our stories, photos, and ideas we might conclude that our relationships are deeper and more meaningful than ever in human history. An honest assessment of human relationships shows that’s not the case.
Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants too” (CEB). Yet, living in consumer culture predisposes us to treat the world and its inhabitants as commodities. This predisposition shapes how we approach human relationships. The trend in our culture is to treat human relationships like commodities. In other words, “What can this relationship give me? Is it worth my investment of time, emotion, energy, and resources? What will be my return on investment if I enter into this relationship?” When a person treats a relationship they are in like a commodity, they will walk away from it when they believe their return on investment is not worth their time. This approach to human relationships is a far cry from the sacredness bond God desires for our human relationships.
When a groom and bride marry in the church, covenant vows made before God, their family, and the congregation speak to the sacred bond between the man and the woman. The vows say nothing about the relationship being a commodity.
Every member of Central has taken covenant vows as well which include supporting the church with their: prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. As that person makes these vows, the members of Central reaffirm those same vows. And yet, it is so easy for the cultural trend of commodification to sneak up on us. We begin to ask “What can this church give me?” Perhaps the question we should be asking is, “How can I serve Christ through my church?”
Great opportunities to change the world for Christ stand before us, if we ask the right question.
Dr. Steve Pulliam
Senior Associate Pastor
For more information on areas where you can serve at Central, click here.