What It Means To Be On Relationship Level One?
Uncommon Relationships: Experiencing the Seven Levels of Relationships – Part 3
“I am like a foreigner [Relationship Level 1] to them….” – bible.com/bible/116/job.19.8,13-15,17.nlt
These are the words of Job as he expresses his pain from the loss of all his children, then his possessions, and lastly his health all within a matter of a short period of time. His losses impacted his relationships on every level. This statement in particular represents the impact his losses had on his neighbors, relationship level one. The people he called neighbors are now treating him as a foreigner in the place he’s always lived.
Level one represents the people you know only because of proximity. This relationship group emerges from the environment you’re in. When you change environments, people in this group tend to not go with you and you tend to attract people from within the new environment. They become your neighbors.
The Thought or Concept:
“Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.” – bible.com/bible/116/1CO.12.14-19.NLT
As a member of society, you become a part of a body or group of people. That group is diverse in many ways. Not to get into that, but the group is only together because of location, be it physical, work related, social in nature (i.e. placed you gather or do business). People within level one are most often taken for granted and even go unnoticed. Allow me to help you identify a few people who you relate to at level one.
In your home, you find neighbors in those who live next door to you or within your neighborhood, it’s those persons you know casually.
In your work, you have people you see each day at your office or place of work that you know causally, but wouldn’t know at all if you’d never worked there or cease to have this as a place of work.
In your place of worship, you see familiar faces at each visit that you’ve become accustomed to seeIng and have formed a casual relationship in nature.
In your social interactions that occur outside of the home, you see people in the community that you know. These are the people you might see regularly at your local Starbucks, public library, or local bookstore.
In your level-one relationships you’ll find what we call family friends. These are the people you know because someone close to you knows someone. This might include your children’s friends, your spouse’s friends, or your relatives’ relatives that are not your relatives.
Now that you have some examples that expose where you’d find your relations at level one, let’s discuss the makeup of this first level in relationships.
The Make Up of Relationship Level One
- Your neighbors.
I like this one word, “neighbor.” Who is my neighbor? Who are your neighbors?
Jesus gives us this commandment as the second most important of all commandments, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – bible.com/116/mrk.12.31.nlt
Therefore answering the question who is my neighbor is of great importance. Level one relationships are of great importance. As I mentioned above, your neighbor is that person that’s within your proximity. These are the people that make up your world, not to be confused with the world. Now that you have a true picture of your neighbors, it’s time to put the Jesus command into action. I call it a next-level step. Love your neighbors like you have love for yourself. You see ordinary people miss this command and mess up level one relationships in two ways:
1) They have no idea who their neighbors are.
2) They fail to give their neighbors the same love that they have for themselves.
When you do these two things, you then know what it means to have successful level one relationships.
- You as a neighbor.
While it’s of the utmost importance to know your neighbor, you must realize that you are someone’s neighbor. In this position you want to set an example for your neighbors on how to be a good neighbor. You do know that some neighbors are better than others right? If that’s the case there’s always room to grow as a neighbor. As a neighbor yourself, you have a level one relationship whether you want one or not. You’re a neighbor; act like the neighbor you want to have in your life.
- Small groups.
The people in your social groupings are your neighbors. We have fancy words for them today like “small groups.” These are the people you intentionally decide to assimilate with. Take note of such groups. In what ways do we intentionally improve our small groups? These groups give us the opportunity to relate at level one. A small group is a level one relationship you choose. These groups can be formal or informal. Most of the social groups occur on their own and with little effort from its participants.
- Our employees and coworkers.
Depending on what level you are in the workforce, you have coworkers, employees, and/or both. These are the people we work with. Let’s talk about this from these two angles: employees and coworkers.
Employees are the people who report to your position of authority. This may include the folks in the office or on the job, but I don’t want to leave out the people you employ. Didn’t know you employ people? Yes, you employ that person at your local diner. You employ the person who does your hair, cuts your hair, nails, etc. How about the person who mows and treats your lawn? Yes, you employee them. The person who cleans or performs services at your home? Yes, again. And don’t forget about the people who service your car? They’re your employees. These are all employees of yours and at the same time relate to you at relationship level one. They too are your neighbors.
Coworkers are those we work with or fall under their responsibility of authority. When we do work for another, that means we report to someone. BTW – everyone has someone they report to. These too are your neighbors.
Level one which is the first level and it’s at this first level where love shows up. That means the basic or bottom of the seven levels starts with love. You can’t have relationships without love. The first level has a requirement of love. Without it, you already know what happens, you fail at being in a level one relationship, neighbor.
Today is Friday!
As you’re beginning to see, these relationship levels are something serious. The first level requires us to show love in order for there to be success at this level. In defining the level one relationship, my neighbors, I had no idea this list covered such a large number of individuals. Now I understand why we must love everybody. That’s everybody we have proximity with and will ever have. Level one relationships take being intentional. I can’t imagine what level two has in store.
Question: Who are your neighbors?
Thanks for viewing this web-post. Do me one favor; help me get this lesson in the hands of as many people possible by simply sharing it with your neighbors.