What has recycling got to do with relationships? An immediate response would be - absolutely nothing! But there are many parallels that are impossible to ignore.
Many products can be recycled, some can be recycled indefinitely with some loss of quality, others can only be recycled for a number of times, and there are some products that can never be recycled. The end product for a recycled material is never the same as the original product, but the overall quality may be the same. However, there are some recycled products that can be just as valuable as the original product, but never ever resemble the original. These are somewhat paradoxical and confusing thoughts, but this is where the similarities between recycling and relationship exist.
Our lives should never be like recycled products, as it will result in recycled relationships. We are all constantly going through changes according to the choices that we make, and according to the circumstances around us. If we do not allow the master potter to pattern our lives according to His original design, we have to go through the furnace many times and back to the potter's wheel, not because the potter made a mistake with His original design, but because of the choices that we make in our daily lives. You see, unlike recycled products, which are changed by the thoughts and desires of those who are in control, we are never forced to change by the master potter, but we are allowed to go through different relationships - some good and bad, until we turn to the master potter in our time of need and cry out, "Change me O Lord, according to your design." Only then can we fully enjoy true relationship with God and those around us.
Unfortunately, some of us go through the same problems over and over again; we go around the same circle many times, as we make the same wrong choices - according to our desires and not according to the design of the master potter. We try to build relationships without God – such relationships can and do exist, and can be very fruitful and productive, but how much greater they can be with the presence of God.
One of the greatest similarities between a recycled product and relationships is this - any product that goes through a recycling process, has to be broken down, impurities removed and only the materials that are necessary for the new product is kept. Although we do not recognize it, this is the process that we all go through with or without God. Relationships cannot be recycled without healing; otherwise we will continue on the same self destructive path and end up with the same problems over and over again.
Many of us are very conscientious when it comes to recycling, as we are very concerned for the environment, but we are not so conscientious when it comes to relationships – we fail to see the destruction that unholy, ungodly and immoral relationships have on our environment. It decays the moral fibre of our society. Some of us are not always conscious to recycle; we tend to discard a lot of things that can be recycled without giving it a second thought, as it is so easy to purchase something new or to obtain another product.
Unfortunately, this is how some relationships are viewed as well, and we can have the mentality, “If it does not work out, I will try another.” Many relationships go through a recycling process, but not usually with the same person, this result in fragmentation of that person if healing does not take place.
The final comparison is between a recycled product that is completely different from the original product, and the person, who after many different relationships and experiences, realize that they have been doing things their own way for so long and it is not working out, they realize that they cannot change themselves or the other person, they realize that they are in bondage to shame, guilt and a immoral lifestyle –they feel incapable to change and the future does not look great and in their time of need, they cry out to God for help and asks Him to change them. God hears the cry of our heart and lips and enables us to change, He washes us with the blood of Jesus and cleanses us from our sins. We become a new creation in Christ Jesus and like a brand new product…what about you? What type of relationship do you want?