When my younger brother calls me, “my father”, I know he has seen something beyond the ordinary. Despite having known me for years, he refused to be familiar. There is a thin line between intimacy and familiarity. Whereas familiarity has to do with being used to someone to the point that you see nothing special about him, intimacy is being close to someone in a way that causes you to value and respect him more. Familiarity breeds contempt, intimacy brings respect. The more you truly know people the more you would respect them.

As profitable as relationships are, they can also be dangerous if not well handled. There is the danger of familiarity. Don’t be too much in a hurry to be close to someone if you have not learnt the sacredness of access. Not too many people can handle closeness. Most times, you respect people because of the secrecy around their lives. Once you get close, you are likely to see stuff (not sins) you never knew existed. You now have a choice to make; to let the faults you see affect your estimation of them, or to be guided by the revelation of their relevance in your life.

When you see a man who is very close to someone and still holds that person in high esteem, you have seen a wise man. When you see siblings of a man of God who know him from childhood but still respect him enough to partake of the grace he carries, you have seen wise people. James was a half brother of Jesus and he was humble enough to follow him (Galatians 1:19, James 1:1). Miriam was familiar with Moses that she missed her portion of the grace that he carried, and got leprosy (Numbers 12:1-10). Mary, the mother of Jesus, saw him beyond her son, she saw a Messiah in him and followed him unashamedly (Luke 24:10, Acts 1:14).

It’s baffling to see that those who are closest to a carrier of grace often miss out of that grace. When the wife of an anointed man still regards him as one despite having seen him in his weakness and vulnerability, you have seen a spouse who would walk in the grace of her husband. Not too many women can do this; no wonder very few walk in the grace on their husbands. Abigail saw David in his prophetic destiny and she partook of that grace (1 Samuel 25:23-32). Michal was so familiar with David that she looked at him with disdain and she got barrenness in return (2 Samuel 6:16-23).

When you see associate pastors who have regard for their man of God despite his closeness and friendliness with them, you have seen people who would be unlimited in life and destiny. The sons of the prophet were familiar with Elijah, Elisha was intimate (2 Kings 2:3, 12-15). They wondered; ‘what’s so special about Elijah that made Elisha to follow him sheepishly?’ What they failed to realize is that, to partake of the grace upon a man of God, you must cease to know him in the flesh (Matthew 16:17-19, 2 Corinthians 5:16-17).

© ‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria