Several years ago, a Harvard Business School professor wrote an open letter to the nation’s graduates. He told them that in one sense they needed to forget what they had learned in school. He said that schools tend to put too much emphasis on the idea that success comes as a result of passing tests and is based on individual performance rather than on group effort and cooperation. The professor pointed out, though, that in the workplace doing well depends largely on learning to succeed in what he called a “web of relationships.”

This truth also applies to living the Christian life. We often think that spiritual maturity and success result from how much we know about biblical facts and principles. Christ showed us, however, that it comes from something else—from loving one another in the same way He loved us. He made it clear that we can do this only if we “abide” in Him (Jn. 15:7). This means we must stay close to Him through prayer, and that we will obey His commands (v.10). Our web of relationships must extend to God and then to others.

The secret of spiritual success is not just in acquiring individual knowledge—it’s in coupling that knowledge with love in all our relationships.