Have you ever been hurt by someone? Is the pain from the past overwhelming? Do you have trust issues? Are there things that hold you back from a full relationship with anyone? Could there be a generational curse haunting you? Have there been times when you feel you can barely get along with yourself let alone anyone else?
God wants to heal your heart and help you experience the fullness of all your relationships, especially with Him. He wants to work through your God Word to impact your relational dimension. The Father asks us to be open to His refining and His way by turning from our selfish desires. Scripture clearly exposes the Lord’s character and shows us that He wants us to express our love for Him and others by being in a full relationship. He created us to be relational with the beginning of creation. His plans were for us to never be in isolation.
Week 4: Relational
What does relational mean? The term refers to the connection and interactions two or more people have with one another. Webster doesn’t define this as a positive or negative but does elude to being related by some type of means. So, lets focus on being healthy relationally.
Most would agree that a loving relationship is a treasure in life. It enhances our daily being and brings happiness far exceeding any material items. The fullness of interacting with others allows us to experience oneness and gives us the opportunity to truly know the meaning of compassion, forgiveness, patience, kindness, forbearance, gentleness, and humility. Can I get an AMEN! Don’t be fooled. Being relationally healthy is hard work and sacrificing on many levels.
Take a good look around: divorce, broken families, riots, fighting, harsh words, manipulating, lies, backstabbing, killing, selfish gain,… This is the world in which we live. A me society where most relationships are shallow at best. When the majority of our relationships are shallow, we find ourselves feeling less than God intended.
Let’s use the Father for an example. He wants us close by His side, interacting with Him, bringing Him glory, and staying in constant contact with Him. But if we choose Him only when we are in a panic or crisis, how deep is our relationship really? Healthy relationships require us to be all in and concerned about others above ourselves. (No, this doesn’t mean to the point of it being detrimental to us. We must take care of ourselves too!)
How would life be if you knew the Lord so intimately that you knew the smell of His breath? Odd question I know but just give this some thought. There’s so much more to that simple question.
Application: How can your God Word impact your relationships? Are there some people who you struggle to maintain health? Are you only seeing the interaction between you from your point of view? Can you extend all the giving attributes of a friendship? Do you need to walk away from unhealthy or abusive people? Can you really forgive? What is the status of most of your relationships: shallow or continually spiraling deeper? Is it better for you to have surface level friends and many of them or meaningful relationships with a handful?
Applying your God Word is being mindful of all your relationships. God wants to walk with you and assist in handling all relationships according to His ways. This may push you out of your comfort zone and require you to stretch beyond your own ability.
Read about what Paul has to say about healthy relationships: https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-21-healthy-relationships-colossians-312-13
Accountability: When I think about managing my relationships, I can only attest to the fact that when my interaction with God is out of kilter, then the rest of my relationships seem to be lacking. There is something to be said about putting the Lord first. However, we have to carry out discipline and hold ourselves accountable daily. Although the Holy Spirit is present and can convict-our actions, thoughts, and habits fall into the free choice category. How do you hold yourself accountable to be relationally healthy? What steps are you willing to take to obtain a full bill of health? How can your God Word keep you focused in achieving and acquiring real relationships with God and others?
Assessment: Reflecting upon our relationships and how we interact with others is not always fun but can generate a vision where we need to improve. This week, let’s allow Scripture to assist us.
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Ephesians 1:11 In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will.
1 Peter 2:23 When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people.
Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke on you and learn from me because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Father God, help us fully utilize the relational impact of our God Word to bring us in closeness with you!