What is the need to have a relationship with Christ?

For some background, I’m part of our church’s youth (teen) ministry, and as I was sharing the word today, one of our female youth members (age 16) asked the question, What is the need to have a relationship with Christ?

I was sharing about the Great Commandment,

Matthew 22:36-40 English Standard Version (ESV)

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

I asked the question, “What are some of the barriers to us loving God?” and our youth member asked the above question. She stated that she has everything she needs, and so doesn’t see the need to pursue a relationship with God. So for you to understand the questioner, she comes from a Coptic Orthodox background. We gave her our answers, and I’m interest to know how you might reply.

Many thanks!

1 Like

@Rom828 Hi!

I think I would have focused on when she said she has everything she needs. In regard to that statement, I think I would have asked, “In your opinion, why do people get married?” If one person was marrying another person for their money or just to “get something” from them, to make their life better, would that be acceptable? Probably not. However, throughout the Bible the illustration that is given is that God’s relationship to His people is like that of a marriage. God wants to be in a relationship with us, not because He’s trying to get any “thing” from us, He just wants us. Likewise, He wants us to enter into a relationship with Him, not because we want to get something from Him, but just because we want to be with Him. God is asking us to enter into a marriage relationship with Him. The way we accept that proposal is through faith in Christ. The commandments are there to teach us how to behave within the context of that marriage relationship. So, why do you need to have a relationship with Christ? Because you want to be with Christ.

3 Likes

Hello Jacob,

First of all, this to me is a question that we all have to ask at some point, and which we all have to find an answer for personally. I believe that is was Blaise Pascal who stated that " “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” I would have put it slightly differently. I would have said that there is a God-SIZED vacuum in each of our hearts. We all have a need for that place in our hearts to be filled, but in this world there are so many things that are bidding for that space, and sometimes we get lost in the shouting of all these different things trying to capture us. The truth of it is, if we took everything that existed in all the entirety of the universe, every last bit of matter, it would not be enough to fill that size of a hole. The only thing that can truly fill such an emptiness in our hearts is God, because He is the only thing of that size, and the only thing that truly fills and satisfies that need within us.

We were designed in the beginning to share a relationship with our Creator, but we lost that when we fell. Nothing in this world can take the place of God in our hearts, which is why so many people get lost in addictions and spending money on all kinds of distractions to try and satisfy that emptiness. There is nothing that makes us feel so empty and alone as achieving all that we thought would bring us that ultimate satisfaction, and then finding out that it has completely let us down. We all have examples in our lives, personal or otherwise, which show how hopeless an attempt it is to try and fill that space in our hearts with anything other than God. A quote from C.S. Lewis states, "And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” We think that if we have all the power, or all the money, or all the possessions we want that it will satisfy us, but the truth is that these things will all fail us in the end.

Maybe the answer to the question is not that we NEED a relationship with God to live our lives on this world. But if we wish to live our lives as God truly intends, with hope, and joy, the promise of a new life with Him at the end of this one then yes, we need Him to have that hope. People struggle through life every day without God, but they never experience true joy or fulfillment. Everything that they achieve just leaves them wanting more and more, a hopelessness consumes them because they cannot satisfy that part of their lives that only God can. In order to merely get by in this doomed world, we do not NEED God, but we must realize that if we wish to truly experience our lives full of hope and joy and the promise of redemption, there is no other way but by Jesus Christ.

Every person must ask themselves, am I truly satisfied in this life? Do I have the hope that I really want? If the answer is no. then there is only one way to find it, and that is to find a relationship with Christ. This young woman has asked what is the need to have a relationship with Christ? The question I would ask is, what do you want from life? Do you see this life as the only one you get? or is this merely a waiting area, where we all are preparing for what comes after? If this life is all there is, then no one needs to do anything except live it in just the way that they desire, whatever way it is that will provide the most of that limited and fleeting satisfaction that you can get, go that way. But if this is merely the precursor to our true lives, then we had best seek desperately the truth in this world that will lead us to that true life. That truth, for many, is a relationship with Jesus Christ, and for very good reasons and evidence.

I hope that this helps you find some talking points with this young woman and I will pray that she finds her need for Christ. God bless you and thank you.

Matthew

2 Likes

@Rom828 Hi brother, like you said, she cannot “see” the need to have a relationship with Christ, she is just a teen, she hasn’t seen the glory of God in Christ. I think the best way would be to tell her more about the Character of Christ her eternal husband and soon she will fall in Love with Him, So talk about Christ in subsequent youth meets, she ought to understand that He is also our creator & also about the fact that we are sinners & He is our savior (The more we know that we are wretched, the more we would appreciate Christ’s sacrifice)

To understand the need for Christ- you can give this analogy- coz she is a teen-which is something like this, Suppose there is far away land so beautiful that no eye has seen but the price of the ticket is so great that not even all the gold and rubies in the world can buy, But one man paid for the ticket and offers it to you freely, would you take it?

Hi, @Rom828. First, thank you so much for working to minister to our young people. That is not an easy task. My husband is a high school teacher and gets asked questions of this sort by his students even though he teaches math :slight_smile:, so he might be better equipped to respond to this question, as I have not had a ton of experience with teens. But he is napping right now, haha :slight_smile: It does sound like she is living in the moment. I would maybe ask her to name the things she has that fulfill her needs that will last eternally (probably nothing). Then I would maybe ask if she is able to see the events of tomorrow. I don’t know exactly how I would go about this. But she has set her all her security and maybe hope in things that do not last and things which we are never sure are going to be there tomorrow. If you could think of a good story or analogy that could illustrate the point that the things that we have that we think fill our need today may not be there tomorrow, I think it may help. I don’t think it’s about not needing. Respectfully, God created us to need Him. From the very beginning, He has wanted us to depend (which implies need) on and trust in Him for everything, not relying on ourselves. We were made in HIS image, which means, in order to be fully human the way we were created to be, we DO need Him. To have shalom (wholeness), we need Him.

I will talk to my husband when he gets up and see if he can think of anything that he would think might help you with this. He is wiser than I :slight_smile:. But for now, I hope maybe this could help even a little to get the wheels turning.

Okay, @Rom828. So my husband is up. He says that what I gave already was good. He said that sounds like some really hard soil you’re dealing with, so the key is to not expect too much right away. In other words, the harvest isn’t going to come right away, and we shouldn’t try to force it. He said in the meantime, ask her what she even means when she says she has everything she needs. It’s important to develop the relationship and ask questions to get to know how she sees things to better understand where she’s coming from. This will take some time. Even though the world has what’s real and what is not real mixed up, sincerity is always real. He says teens do not want to be seen as a project–but as a person. They want to be seen for who they are, to be heard and understood without someone trying to “fix” them.

He said that even though we like to think teens think like adults, they don’t. They don’t even have the physical development to do so–the logic, reasoning, judgment part of their brains will not finish developing until they are 25. So that is important to keep in mind when going into conversation with her, as well.

He said you don’t know what question is going to trigger her realization of some fault in her thinking or logic. You never know what questions or line of thought will cause her to see a misalignment in the way she makes sense of things. When teens see that misalignment or fault in how they see the world, they will go to who they trust to ask questions. They will go to who has been sincere and has treated them like a person rather than a project.

In short, right now is the time to simply develop relationship and to actively listen to her without trying to rush her with responses we think will turn the light bulb on. It’s important to understand that active listening involves reflecting back phrases she uses to make sure she can see you’re really hearing her and that you ask reflective questions to make sure you are understanding her correctly. You wouldn’t believe how long of a way that goes with someone.

Right now, my husband is preparing to till the ground in our back yard. We have very, very hard soil and cannot hope to plant anything until it is broken up by the tiller. That’s where you’re at right now–you and God in this.

Hope this helps!