Dr. Danie Craven, one of South Africa’s greatest rugby heroes once said, “In order for a team to overcome their opponent they first have to overcome the game.” This is also true of life. In order for us to overcome the obstacles of life, we first have to overcome life itself.
Life is like any game of sport, sometimes you are hurt, other times you score. Some games you win, some you loose. In the game of rugby you will find yourself some times laying underneath a rough mall, at this time you may consider giving up. But there is no glory in giving up, rather get up and score a try! Making mistakes does not mean you’re a failure, it‘s when you give up that you accept failure. When it comes to relationships, people are likely to give up, ignore, or isolate themselves in order to protect themselves from further harm, instead of getting up and fight back, seeking to redeem (save and restore) the bad relationship.
“I do not have to understand why I was tackled?” If you are going to look for a cause and effect for everything that happens in a game you will go crazy. For sure there are some results to a certain strategy used, but even that is open to change, due to the nature of the ball. I’m not delivered to the fall of the ball either, I play the game, I exercise, and I strategize to improve my performance. But I do not look for a cause and effect every time I’m tackled. I get up and play on.
Many of the tackles of life are in the area of relationships. One of my lecturers at Bible seminary, years ago, even suggested that 95% of all diseases could be traced back to a relational hurt in one-way or the other. If that is true or not is debatable, but I know in my own life that we can be without any money, or even sick, but there is nothing that can cause so much pain and misery as when we fight over something, and do not make up.
The thing that helps us through life’s troubles is our relationships. On one’s deathbed no one ever thinks about work, nor material things, or “they should have worked harder”, but usually most people die knowing they did not spent enough time with the people they love. Relationships are one of the most important aspects of life, because godly relationship is eternal. When there are friends giving support, one is able to go through tremendous hardship. When my wife and I fight about something, I struggle concentrating, I feel lousy and miserable the whole day. This is true of any close relationship.
The game of life can be much easier when we are at peace with the players in the team. When we feel we belong and are treasured. We cannot win without the team helping us. The title of the book is also the purpose of the book, redeeming relationships. According to the dictionary the word redeem means to buy back; to act so as to settle or discharge (a burden, obligation, etc); to recover or free by payment; to free oneself from (a promise) by fulfilment; to ransom; to rescue, deliver, free; (of God or Christ) to deliver from sin; to get back; to reclaim; to exchange (tokens, vouchers, etc) for goods, or (bonds, shares, etc) for cash; to pay the penalty of; to atone for; to compensate for; to put (time) to the best advantage.
For too long we have lost games in the area of relationships, and endured major injuries. It is time to get behind the game, get the game strategy from our champion Couch, Jesus, and start to train for a victorious life.
The chapters in this book are constructed in such a manner to arm you with information first, there are some self-study, also some practical exercises and lastly an encouragement to help you share what you’ve learned so far.