April 2011 Fit4Ever

Four Key Relationships

“The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” – Proverbs 13:20

My mom used to tell me that idle hands always led to trouble. Maybe that’s why she always tried to keep us busy. When we had nothing to do, we usually wound up misbehaving.

In life, I’ve found that this concept applies to relationships as well. When we are isolated from godly relationships, we end up getting into trouble. According to Proverbs 18:1, “One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound judgment.”

When we try to do life on our own, we end up making selfish decisions and rejecting good advice. Isolation makes us think that we’re the only ones dealing with particular struggles or sins, and that leads us into guilt and shame. It also makes us feel like we can sin and get away with it since no one is holding us accountable. But, as we all know, sin gets heavy over time, and the truth always comes out.

YOUR KEY RELATIONSHIPS
List the names of the people in your life who fill each role.

The Walker:

 (YOUR NAME HERE)____           _____

The Watchmen:

 ______________________

The Warriors:

 ______________________

The Workmen:

 _________________________

Each of these relationships is further detailed online at wisdomwalks.org. Check it out for more information and resources, including worksheets, podcasts and excerpts!

Isolation from healthy relationships is one of the primary schemes of the devil. He loves to divide us. The banana that gets separated from the bunch gets peeled first. The log that rolls away from the fire goes out first. And those of us who get separated from fellowship of other believers suffer harm.

More than 20 years ago, FCA’s Dan Britton and I realized the power of key relationships in our lives, and since then we’ve been able to experience their life-changing power firsthand. Recently, the Lord allowed us to address this topic through our book WisdomWalks, in which we outline four key relationships necessary for relational and spiritual health: Walkers, Watchmen, Warriors and Workmen.

THE WALKER (1 John 2:6) - The first relationship is our own personal relationship with Christ. In 1 John 2:6 (NIV), we are told, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” But in order to walk as Jesus did, we must abide in (i.e. maintain connection with) Him, as it says in John 15:5. Just like branches that are connected to a vine and completely dependent on it for life and nourishment, we must maintain a similar connection to Jesus by studying His ways, surrendering our desires, and depending on Him. Through that relationship, He gives us wisdom for living and the power to make a difference in the lives of others.

THE WATCHMAN (Proverbs 13:20) - Watchmen are wise teachers—those who have greater life experience and spiritual maturity and desire to pass their wisdom down to the next generation. Watchmen are positioned by God to guard, protect, pray for, guide, and give moral direction to those under their influence. The ones being mentored—the Walkers—have the opportunity to capitalize on what the Watchmen have learned, avoiding similar mistakes and implementing the principles and practices of a proven track record. 

THE WARRIORS (Proverbs 27:17) - Warriors are close friends. Through them, we find mutual mentoring and accountability, as each person is committed to helping the other become and do everything God intends. Attitudes and actions are confronted firmly and lovingly, and every area of life is open for discussion. There’s a transparency that allows real transformation to happen. Under a high level of trust, Warriors form our inner circle of friends.

THE WORKMAN (Luke 6:40) - Workmen are disciples—those who desire to grow in spiritual maturity and live out their faith. Walkers focus on helping Workmen grow spiritually through the study and application of God’s Word. As Walkers, we intentionally identify others to invest in and help develop the next generation of Christ-followers. Jesus modeled this by living out God’s truth and transferring it to others. In Luke 6:40, He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”

This month, spend a few moments thinking about your relationships and then write down the names of those who fill these roles in your life. If one role is going unfulfilled, ask God to lead the right person into your life to serve in that capacity. All four relationships are critical for us as we seek to make wise decisions, be difference-makers, and finish the race.

--For more stories about faith and sport, visit www.sharingthevictory.com, the official magazine of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. To subscribe to STV, click here.