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Relationships Reveal Hidden Truths
The purpose of this article is to encourage us to evaluate our relationships. Therefore, I will begin by asking a series of How often questions. How often do we:
Do these questions cause you to pause and reflect on your relationships with others (your motives, your responses to and treatment of them)? I really hope so because our natural relationships reflect hidden truths about our spiritual relationship with God, our Father.
- write or speak negatively of another?
- return evil for evil?
- take for granted those who are closest to us?
- make allowances for the faults of others?
- turn our backs on those closest to us to seek others who are more beautiful, glamorous, or more flattering?
- listen to and follow the adivice of those we know mean us no good but do so because they are saying what we want to hear?
- rebel against and disrespect those who have been placed in positions of authority over us?
- break covenant with those we have committed ourselves to?
- comfort others in their time of need?
- take advantage of, harrass, or oppress those who are under our leadership?
- love our neighbors as ourselves?
- knowingly wrong others and then boast about it?
- ask for forgiveness when our apologies are insincere?
- do unto others as we would have them do unto us?
- lie, cheat, or steal to satisfy our desires or for personal gain?
- make promises that we don't keep?
- partake in gossip or speak harshly about or to another?
- love others genuinely and unconditionally?
- treat others better than we treat those closest to us?
- scheme and plot against others?
- intentionally do and say things that will cause harm to ourselves or others?
- use, misuse, and then abandon or reject another?
- have opportunities to assist and to do good; but make the choice not to?
- place the needs of others before our own needs?
When we strive to live righteously and peaceably with everyone (Romans 12:18NLT), loving others, and treating them as we desire to be treated (Matthew 7:12NLT); we reflect that we know God and our relationship with Him is filled with love, trust, intimacy, obedience, and faith. A visible demonstration of our relationship with God is the love that we have one for another(John 13:34NIV). "Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen." (1 John 4:20NIV).
When we treat others poorly, we reflect that we really don't know God, our Father; treating Him just as poorly as we treat one another. We fail to demonstrate His unfailing love for us as love does no harm to a neighbor or fellow creature.(Romans 13:10NIV) As we turn to God, repent, and develop our relationship with Him; He will forgive us of our trespasses against Him and against one another. His grace will give us kindness and compassion for others. His Holy Spirit will guide us and direct our paths. Jesus the Christ speaks to us and the words that He speaks are spirit and life (John 6:63).
- How Does God's Grace Make Us Better For Him, Ourselves, and Others?
Life's circumstances have a way of stirring and causing chaos, frustration, doubt, fear, and disappointment. However, there is a remedy that's readily and freely available to us for the asking.
I must confess that there are areas that I still need to improve in some of my relationships. I am so thankful for each new day as each one represents a new opportunity for me to grow and develop all of my relationships so that each positively reflect my relationship with God, my Father. We can do it - one day, one relationship at a time! Let's no longer trip up and stumble all over overselves, others, and GOD when it comes to our relationships. Avoid the following relationship don'ts.
Don't have a false sense of security in people, things, or our own thoughts of insignificance concerning our natural relationships. Don't let arrogance, stubbornness, pride, and haughtiness dictate how we treat each other. Don't place more value on things and possessions than our relationships with one another and with God. Don't initiate relationships for show or pretense, or with impure motives.
Our natural relationships really do reveal hidden truths about our spiritual relationship.
Father, purify our hearts. Forgive us of our sins. Help us to consistently be mindful of how we are to respond to and treat others in relationships. Help us to walk in the newness of Your love, Your grace, Your mercy, Your patience, and Your forgiveness. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.