In Chapter 16 (“What Matters Most”) of The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren states that we develop the skill of loving through regular, close fellowship with other believers. At time those believers will be irritating, imperfect , frustrating people. They may even be the people directly or indirectly responsible for our downsizing. Rick give 3 reasons why relationships must have top priority in our lives (author’s words are in bold type).
1. Life without love is really worthless. Relationships are not just a part of our lives along with numerous other tasks. Learning to worship God is the first purpose of our lives. Learning to love others is the second. As St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:3- “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I have nothing.”
2. Love will last forever. Love leaves a legacy. It is eternal. The author cites Mother Teresa, who once said: “It is not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.” Wisdom is learning that relationships are what life is all about sooner rather than later.
3. We will be evaluated on our love. One standard by which God measures spiritual maturity is the quality of our relationships. When we transfer to eternity, all we will have with us is our character.