I recently spoke with a friend who is planting a church in the Midwest. In the conversation, I asked him to describe his personality. One way he described himself was, “guarded until I feel safe in the relationship.” He then observed – “If I am truly safe with God, then why am I guarded in my other relationships?”
I thought out loud how that was such a true and profound question. I realized that I often responded to relationships in the same way. I began to wonder how common that is with other people.
What does it mean to feel safe with God? I know that for most people, their perception of God is all over the map. That is if they even believe He exists.
It is hard to grasp that any of us can have a relationship with any being, mortal or deity, in which we are completely safe. A relationship in which we are ourselves completely unhinged, good and bad.
Can we relate to God like this? I believe so. At least intellectually I do. The challenge is believing it in a practical way that translates into how I relate to others.
We all know people who seem to live life unguarded. Usually it is because they do not care what others think about them. But I do care. Yet, do I care so much to the point that I reserve my real self for only myself and maybe a choice few? If so, what are others missing out on?
This conversation with my friend is challenging me to press into my relationship with God so that I feel completely safe with Him. I believe this kind of relationship with my heavenly Father will allow me to relate to others with my whole being, not just a guarded part of it.
Why should this matter to me?
- It matters because I want others to know Him. What a concept. Others knowing Him because they know me.
- It matters because I can live freely and with joy knowing that I have a strong foundation in my relationship with God. I have lived life too long with regrets, in fear of what others think, and with hesitation.
- It matters because I can live a sacrificial life, giving away instead of holding back. I am thankful for God who held nothing back. He gave away His life instead of holding onto His position. If He had not done this, none of us would know Him.
Question for you: How are you guarded in your relationships? Do you feel safe with God?