EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part 2 of a three-part column.
I've never forgotten David's words that day and I believe he was right -- in the end, the only thing that really matters is relationships. Your relationship with God and your relationship with others is all that will define you in this life and in the life to come.
One time Jesus was asked by a lawyer, "Which is the greatest commandment in the law?" You could ask the lawyer's question like this, "Of all that God has told His people, what did He say was the most important?"
Jesus' response was simply, "relationships." He said more fully, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
So Jesus says it is all about your relationship with God and your relationship with others. Immediately after saying that He said this, "On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
In other words, everything God has ever spoken to us about life depends on our relationship with God and our relationships with others. Or, like my fraternity pledge trainer told me when I was 18 years old, "You can sum up life in one word -- relationships."
God made you for relationships. In fact, when we are not in relationships we are not fulfilling God's purpose for our lives. I believe everyone learns this in one way or another.
Many of you might have seen the movie, "Into the Wild," the story of a young college graduate in pursuit of happiness. His pursuit of seeing some of the most glorious wonders of our world eventually lead him to this truth about relationships, but only when it was too late and he was all alone and dying in the Alaskan wilderness.
Some of Christopher McCandless' last words were, "Happiness is only real when shared."
God knew this from the very beginning. One of the most shocking verses in all the Scripture is Genesis 2:18. We read in Genesis the account of God creating the whole world and creating it good. After each day of creation, God considers the things that He has made and day after day we read the same three words, "It was good."
In the beginning, everything was good; the world would only become corrupt when man sinned, the account of which we read in Genesis 3. But before Genesis 3, back in Genesis 2:18, we see these shocking words in a world without sin: "It is not good that the man should be alone."
We were built, made, designed by God for relationships, for community, to know and to be known.
So here is the great question: Do you know, and are you known? I mean, really known: Have you really laid bare your soul with another person? God has called us to real relationships without any fear or shame.
Another really interesting verse in Genesis comes just a few verses later in chapter 3 right after Adam and Eve eat of the forbidden fruit and sin against God. After the sin, God comes looking for Adam and Eve and calls out to them, "Where are you?" In verse 10, Adam responds, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."
Then in verse 11 comes one of the most interesting verses in all of Scripture. God responds, "Who told you that you were naked?" -- implying that Adam and Eve had been living with each other in the garden for perhaps years (we don't really know) and in all of that time they were unaware of their own nakedness.
Suddenly sin enters into the world and for the first time ever humankind feels fear and shame, and the man and the woman feel compelled to cover and hide themselves, enclosing who they really were.
Sin is the great enemy of relationships because it brings about fear and shame. If you are afraid and if you are full of shame, you will never really have relationships. You will never know and be known, and therefore, you will never live out the life that you were designed for, you will never fulfill God's great purpose for your life.
God made you and He made me for real, full, intimate relationships with one another, and until you are able to move past your fears and your shames, you will never find that kind of community that you were designed for.
Jason Dees is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Covington. He can be reached at 770-786-9031 or www.firstbaptistcovington.com or www.facebook.com/jasondees.