Our relationships help to shape and form who we are and who we are becoming.
Have you ever stopped to consider how our lives are filled with such a variety of relationships and interactions? We are a boss to some, a peer to others, a colleague, a customer or provider, a teacher, a student, a physician or patient, a Bishop, and/or a church/conference collaborator.
Our lives are also filled with other even more important relationships, including our families, our friends, our neighbors, our sisters and brothers in faith.
In all of our relationships, we experience the needs and expectations of others and ourselves. Relationships, to be successful, demand time and effort; and when we invest appropriately, they help us experience well-being and personal satisfaction, and find renewal and new energy for life. We cannot thrive without being in relationships. This is especially true of our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. For us, this is the foundational and formative relationship that shapes our thinking, living, and all of our other connections.
Almost everything in life is determined by our relationship with Jesus Christ. How we treat others, how we treat the world and the world’s resources, how we use the gifts that we are given…and who receives them. How we do this and how our lives are formed are determined by our living relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
My prayer is that each day, the relationship both you and I have with Jesus grows and strengthens. So each day, we find ourselves growing more and more like Jesus in our relationships with others. More loving, more generous, more compassionate, more dedicated, more committed, more self-forgiving and forgiving of others, more in love with God, and more connected to each other and the world in which we live.
Grace and Peace,
Hee-Soo Jung, PhD
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).