(By Nate Howard)
God is forever reshaping us, like an expert potter. And since God is very relational (think: Trinity), one area in which He is continually attempting to change us is the basic way we relate to each other. Here’s an example to think about. In relationships, is your posture, “I will because” (which is covenant thinking) or “I will if” (which is contract thinking)?
When I’m in the mode “I will if,” I’m looking to the other person to meet certain conditions and IF he/she does what I require, then I WILL act on their behalf. It’s like we have this unwritten contract, I WILL be good to them IF …
When I’m in the mode “I will because,” I’m not looking first to the condition of the other person (if they are good, bad, worthy, unworthy, etc.). Rather, I look elsewhere, like, perhaps, to my promise to them, or my promise to God. Then, I WILL be good to them BECAUSE my eyes are on something other than them — I do that because that’s my covenant.
I believe if you look at most troubled relationships, you will find “I will if” thinking. Let’s change that and become a church that cooperates with God’s reshaping agenda of the way we do relationships! And I WILL stay in relationship with you, not IF you meet my expectations, but BECAUSE He has called us to be together.