1. Relationships spur us on to live for the Lord more passionately. When we’re around others who are passionately living for the Lord, it encourages us to passionately live for the Lord as well. That’s just the way God has wired us. He’s designed us as social creatures who are drawn to imitate the attitudes and behaviors of those around us. So, when we’re around other Christians who passionately living for God, we’re naturally inspired by their example.
  2. Relationships provide healthy accountability as we seek to follow God. There’s a reason why spin classes and other group exercise classes are so popular. It’s because when you do something with a group of people, there’s a certain kind of accountability that’s built into that. The activity is something you want to do anyway, but you’re even more encouraged to do it when you’re doing it as a part of a group. If you don’t show up, people will probably notice and wonder where you are. Likewise, this same kind of accountability is built into our relationships with other Christians as well.
  3. Relationships are a source of comfort and support during difficult times. What a blessing to have a loving community of Christians who can gather around you, pray for you, support you, and simply be there for you whenever you find yourself facing something difficult. Galatians 6:2 refers to it as “bear[ing] one another’s burdens,” and Romans 12:15 speaks of “weep[ing] with those who weep.” If you’re a part of a loving community of Christians, you’ll still go through difficult times, but you won’t have to go through those times alone.
  4. Relationships help us grow in our understanding of the Bible. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gained greater insight into a biblical passage or a biblical doctrine by discussing it with other Christians. Other Christians have regularly helped me see things in the Bible that I just didn’t see on my own and appreciate things I hadn’t fully appreciated. And that’s the way God’s designed the church to function. It’s his design for us to help one another and teach one another and stimulate one another in our study of the Bible.
  5. Relationships give us wonderful models of spiritual maturity. There are so many things in the Christian life that are more caught than taught. That is, we learn them best as we see them modeled by other Christians. Perhaps you’re wondering about what it looks like to be a godly husband or a godly wife or maybe a godly father or a godly mother. Or maybe you want to be a greater influence for God in your career or would like to grow in your ability to use your spiritual gifts in the church. What better way to grow in all of these areas than by seeing these kinds of things lived out and modeled by Christians who are more mature in the faith than you are?
  6. Relationships give us access to immense spiritual wisdom. Proverbs 11:14 speaks of the blessing to be found and the wisdom to be gained by having “a multitude of counselors.” You know, YouTube can be helpful for a lot of things. For example, any time you want to know how to do a minor car repair or fix something basic around your house, YouTube is great. But if you’re looking for advice about a meaningful life issue—maybe something related to singleness or dating a or marriage or parenting or your career or navigating a conflict—those aren’t the kinds of things I recommend looking up on YouTube (or anywhere else online). Instead, that’s where relationships with spiritually mature Christians come in. Relationships give us access to immense spiritual wisdom.
  7. Relationships provide spiritual refreshment when we begin to feel weary. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul tells us to “encourage one another and build one another up.” And that’s something all of us need, especially during certain seasons of our lives. The fact is that we all sometimes go through seasons when we’re just “not feeling it” spiritually—seasons of spiritual dryness and weariness. What a blessing it is to have Christian brothers and sisters whom God uses to bring refreshment to our souls.