All relationships have their ups and downs. There will be times of happiness and times of heartache, times of intimacy and times of injury, times of unity and times of division. Welcome to life and being in a relationship!
When it’s good, it’s awesome! When it’s bad, it sucks! But the real question is this, is there something you are doing that makes it suck? Answer… Yes! Here are three things you must stop doing immediately:
Stop Being an Avoider
Matthew 5:23-24… if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Jesus made it clear that Christians are to be proactive in keeping relationships healthy. In fact, He said don’t go to church if you are in conflict with someone until you have gone to them and tried to work it out. This is counterintuitive. When we experience a relational hurt or feel discounted, our immediate response is usually to run or avoid it. We simply don’t want to be around that person until he or she changes, apologizes, or comes groveling back. This is especially true if the issue isn’t our fault.
Yet, Jesus said, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is and that the way to make things better is to be a proactive peacemaker. So when we avoid, we are actually going to make things worse. In fact, this is when bitterness can start setting in and start infecting your entire perspective about that person. So if you’re playing the “avoid” card… Stop Immediately and go talk to that person.
Stop Being a Finger Pointer
Matthew 7:3-5 – “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Jesus continues His discussion about relationships by highlighting “how” we talk to one another. He says you must first take responsibility for your actions or attitude before you talk to someone else about their actions or attitude. In other words, instead of pointing the finger at someone else, you must first point the finger at yourself. When we look at ourselves first, there’s humility and settling down that takes place. It brings a more balanced perspective to the relationship and prevents us from operating out of anger or frustration.
Usually, the most powerful times in the reconciliation process is when both parties are able to own their part in the struggle and articulate it in a heartfelt way without pointing fingers. So if you are playing the “finger pointing” card… Stop Immediately and recognize the ways you have contributed to any kind of struggle.
Stop Being a Gossip
James 5:16-Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Often, when relationships becoming challenging, there is a tendency to want to vent to others. In some sick way, we find gratification in hearing someone commiserate with us about our struggle. This doesn’t do anything to help the situation and only starts a gossip chain that will make matters worse. Like I said, it’s sick!
On the other hand, scripture says if we are going to talk to someone about our relationships, it should be God. Including God will have a direct impact because only God can do a supernatural work that goes beyond you. He can provide relational insight, perspective, and healing in ways you never thought possible. So if you are playing the “gossip” card… Stop Immediately and pray for the person.
God wants all of us to have healthy and happy relationships and the more we adopt God’s approach instead of our own, the more this will be possible!
If you found this post helpful, be sure to share with others on the social media links below.