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The most important thing about you

March 27, 2017

For the past few weeks I have been reading about various dynamics coming to play in interpersonal relationships, and I’ve been constantly amazed by how the strongest relationships develop out of some sort of common interest. Simple interests can forge deep friendships just by the fact that they’re being held and shared by (two or more) people. What might seem simple, small or trivial to some can be a point of connection for others and form a basis upon which their community thrives.

Needless to say that the quality of the relationship will nevertheless be determined by more than one variable: how vital or how relevant is the interest in your daily life, how important it is to you and/or to the other person, how deeply you are invested in it, and so much more. A shared love for coffee can make for an acquaintance, but a common view about politics will set the stage to a deeper fellowship.

There’s no way to form meaningful relationships if there’s strong disagreement on the fundamental and most basic issues, “at that point, courtesy and tolerance are possible, but not any deep friendship.” As the relationship grows, it will all come down to a realization that friendship (or love) has flourished simply because the most important thing about you is what the most important thing about the other person is.

Friendship (or love) has flourished simply because the most important thing about you is what the most important thing about the other person is

But, precisely, what is the most important thing about somebody? A.W. Tozer argued that “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Now, before you roll your eyes at my ‘small-minded/religious’ comment, it is worth noting that the words ‘religion’ or ‘God’ or ‘theology’ are just other terms for ‘worldview’; religion informs—at least it should—about “what life is all about, who we are, and the most important things that human beings should spend their time doing.”3

When we think about it, our worldviews are like mental or psychological lenses through which we filter and interpret everything; magnifying or minimizing or blurring or coloring what we see. The question is how correct or how precise is your lens doing justice to reality, how reliable is it in terms of providing the right direction and a solid ground to understand who you are and your place in this world.

Sure your entourage, or culture, or upbringing, but also your own desires and wants play a key role in heavily shaping the way you see everything. You’ll also form connections with other people who see things the way you do—and how great is the gift of sharing a vision? However, just as one can have hallucinations in a desert coming out of his craving for water, we must regularly ask if what we’re seeing is truth and reality or if it is just a product of your lusts and/or socially constructed illusions. But how do we proceed?

For Tozer, understanding our creator’s character and nature and purposes is crucial. Understanding who made us, and why he did and what we’re supposed to do in the light of all of this is something without which, were we to gain all kinds of knowledge about other things, we would be, as Piper once said, “infinitely parochial”.

God is light; not only because his glory shines, but also because by him and through him, I see everything—the true enlightenment! Tozer was right; our knowledge of God is the most important thing about us.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

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