Last week in Relationships Transformed, we learned how the first relationship we are to focus on is our relationship with God. Every day we do have a free will choice to make. We can choose to follow the world or we can choose to follow God. Last week, Michael Baggett brought up the notion of a veil being removed. A veil is something that covers, conceals, or separates. A veil can conceal us from God, or it can conceal us from other people. This week, Michael asked table groups to make a lists of different “veils” that might be present in relationships with people. Some of the responses were: appearances, afraid to be vulnerable, untruths, distractions, perceptions, and first impressions. This week Michael focused on veils that people need to remove in order to strengthen their relationship with other people.
Michael began tonight’s message with 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 which begins like this – whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. He went on to explain that when the veil is taken away, we can truly see people through God’s eyes. When our veils are on, then we don’t see people for who they really are and our perception of other people is clouded or blurred. Just as God wants us to get to know Him, He also wants us to get to know other people but He wants us to see other people for who they really are. Michael illustrated that point with 1 Samuel 16:6-7 where Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” In verse 7, the Lord said to Samuel “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” People look at the outward appearance of others because they are seeing others through a veil they have on, and when we remove that veil then we see other people as God sees them and we see their heart. A veil is a barrier that separates us from God. Michael illustrated this with saying that with a veil a person would think “I’m not worthy of love”, and he went on to say that without a veil a person would think “I am worthy of love.”
In Psalm 1, it says “Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers.” Michael stated that when our veil is down, we can make an intentional effort to get to know people, and we can also take delight in the teachings of the Lord. The Lord wants us to have real relationships with other people. We can do this by just asking questions to people to find out where they are coming from, influencing people by how we love them, and being consistent with our character. When our veil is removed then the Holy Spirit is in us and gives us discernment between right and wrong. God had a plan for Paul and God has a plan for us. Every day, we do have a free will choice to make. Do we keep the veil on, or do we pull the veil down? Michael ended with saying how when we see people and get to know people without our veils on then this is what makes relationships real and transformative because the Holy Spirit is working in us and through us.
Next Sunday, Michael is continuing his message on The Transforming Power of Real Relationships. You are invited to attend.