It Goes Two Directions
God created us to live in a VERTICAL relationship with Him. He loves us and we love him.
God also chose to create us to live in HORIZONTAL relationships with each other in community.
It is Biblically incorrect to conclude that all we need is God. A more accurate statement is that we all need God and one another. God has designed us that way.
God created us as NEEDY people. Just as we need water to drink, air to breathe and food to eat, so God also created us needing healthy horizontal relationships.
The 10 Valid Needs of People
In The Great Commandment Principle, David Ferguson identifies ten needs that are met in different ways throughout life—by God through His Word and our relationship with Him. We can partner with God in meeting these horizontal needs in the lives of other people. These ten needs are:
1. ACCEPTANCE —dignifying others by accepting them
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7
2. AFFECTION —expressing care and closeness; saying “I love you.”
“Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him.” Luke 5:13
3. APPRECIATION —expressing thanks for the efforts of others
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
4. APPROVAL —affirming the importance of a relationship
“And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ ” Mark 1:11
5. ATTENTION — showing genuine interest in another’s interests
“We should have equal concern for each other.” 1 Corinthians 12:25
6. COMFORT — easing the hurting with words, feelings and touch
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3–4
7. ENCOURAGEMENT — stimulating others to love and goodness
“Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24
8. RESPECT — treating another as having importance and dignity “Show proper respect to everyone.” 1 Peter 2:17
9. SECURITY — harmony in relationships
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:16, 18
10. SUPPORT — helping to carry another’s burdens
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
By partnering with God in meeting these valid needs of those around us in our horizontal relationships, we can fulfill the Great Commandment of loving God and loving others.