Copyright © 2007 by Robert Woeger.
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Publisher: Robert Woeger
Discovering The Power Of Right Relationships
This writing on the topic of relationships is designed to help Christians develop and maintain
Godly, healthy relationships with others, including those with co-workers, and friendships.
All Scripture references in this writing are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
God put us on this Earth to have relationships with others. No matter if it is a friendship, a working relationship, a ministry relationship, a business relationship, or a romantic relationship, God desires that we conduct ourselves in a Godly, appropriate manner in all our relationships, as all our conduct reflects back on Him. Everything we do is a testimony to others of what we believe.
We need to learn how to live in the world, but not become part of it. Sometimes it is hard for people to separate themselves from the workings of the world, but in reality, the world really has nothing that lasts to offer us. We are not of this world, but mere sojourners passing through this world. Even people who travel through a country or city need to respect the laws and customs of the land where they are dwelling. So it should be as we live the Christian life. Our lives should project a good testimony.
Too many Christians, in this day, however, are more concerned about "fitting in" to the world, than separating themselves from the world and its systems. The many vices and snares that the world offers may appear tempting to people who call themselves Christians, but are to be avoided at all costs! They only lead to sin, which separates one from God.
Relationships are designed to be a real blessing. Unfortunately, many have experienced the curses of wrong relationships. In our quest for the "right relationship" we have had to endure our fair share of relationships with the wrong people. Bad experiences in relationships tend to leave people disillusioned, leery and fearful as to having relationships with others in the future. People can literally become "emotionally damaged" due to hurts and pains inflicted upon them through wrong relationships.
I call these types of people the "walking wounded," as they tend to be ineffective and damaged in how they work and relate to others. My goal in writing this small book on relationships from a Christian perspective, is to help the many Christians who are trying to both serve and love God, but are hampered in those goals by the many damaged relationships they have experienced.
God desires that we live in a faith-filled, abundant manner. We are not here to "take up space", but rather to be full of energy and be productive (in Him). Life should be filled with joy, if we are truly in His Presence. There is nothing that should be impossible for those who are in Christ.
We have an enemy who wants to steal from us and destroy God's best plans for our lives. The enemy knows that we all need relationships to function properly as we were designed to, by God, our Creator. Just like there exists so called "junk food", I believe there are many false types of relationships that our enemy puts along the path we walk in life. Relationships either serve to build us up or drag us down.
Our job is to separate the wheat from the chaff, the good, Godly relationships from the false, evil ones. Life is about the choices we make, and we need to be well informed, so as to make the best choices. God does not desire that we perish, but due to our bad choices and our free will, we can condemn ourselves to miserable lives and even death. The ultimate goal in life is to prepare ourselves to qualify for eternal life with God in His Presence, and not an eternal state of death and punishment apart from God. An eternal relationship in right standing with God is what every follower of Christ should truly desire.
In every relationship, behavior and conduct matters. We are constantly evaluating our friendships and relationships by how other people treat us and behave around us. No one wants to be around a person who abuses, belittles or disrespects them. Our goal in life should be to find and surround ourselves with people who truly appreciate us for who we are, and who do not try to misuse our time, gifts, talents and money.
Likewise, we should be good to others, and respect their time, energy, gifts and talents. Anyone who takes advantage of another is not worthy of being in a relationship with the other person.
Life is too short to allow yourself to be used or taken advantage of by others. There is a time to give, and a time to rest. People need to qualify to show themselves able to properly enter into a relationship with you. They need to show you they can be trusted. No one wants to enter into a relationship with a thief, liar, or a con-man. Avoid being taken advantage of by others. Inspect the fruit of others before entering into any kind of relationship with them. You are responsible to God for the relationships you enter into.
There are certain people God desires you to enter into a relationship with and others that He desires you to avoid having a relationship with. Scripture is full of warnings and examples of the kinds of people not to have relationship or fellowship with. The Bible also tells us what attributes to look for in true, Godly relationships with others.
Too often, people get entangled in a relationship with another person before they have properly tested whether that relationship is of God or not. Many people fail to realize that not all relationships are from God, nor are all relationships beneficial. Be wise, therefore, before quickly entering into a relationship.
Getting out of a relationship can be more time consuming and painful than entering into a relationship. Think of all the wasted time, money, energy, and missed opportunities that getting involved with the wrong relationship(s) brings, not to mention the damage, pain, and emotional abuse people get scarred with from their wrong relationships.
So what are we to do, live like a hermit in a cave, and avoid all relationships with others? That would be very hard to do, and leave us also in a crippled state. We need relationships with others, just like we need food and nourishment, to properly develop. We need to make wise choices in our relationships, just as we need to make wise choices with what we eat.
Damaged Causes Damage
Damaged people tend to cause damage to other people. It is like one bruised, sour grape quickly spreading its damage and disease to others on the same branch of the vine. Soon many grapes begin to show signs of damage and will then become sour to the taste. Healthy people tend to cause others to be be healthier around them, while sick and damaged people tend to drag others down around them. The environment we live, work, and learn in, is either conducive to proper growth or else tends to improper growth. To learn more about damaged and dysfunctional people, read my writing: "Dysfunctional."
The Need For Approval
People seem to be "hard wired" with the need for approval. We crave attention, love and approval from other people from birth. In fact, studies have shown that babies who are denied attention and love have a tendency to develop emotional and behavioral problems as they grow up. It is important that we get the right kind of approval, so that we develop into well balanced, properly adjusted people in life.
That is why compliments are important. When given properly, compliments add value and worth to an individual. They strengthen and reassure the worth of the person receiving them, and help inspire hope. Compliments can help to reverse negative things previously spoken to a person. They provide positive reinforcement for good behavior and can encourage people to achieve new goals and dream new dreams.
Every time you can share encouragement with a person is an opportunity to plant seeds of hope and faith into their life. You need to realize how important your words are to others, and the effect they can have. Choose your words carefully so that they may be uplifting, positive and beneficial to others.
We have a need for both the approval of others and the approval from God. While people will often let us down, and not give us the approval we seek and deserve, God never leaves nor forsakes those who follow after Him and His ways. God desires that all would come to know Him, and receive the many benefits that He has in store for those that truly accept and believe upon Him. He is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. He desires to be found by us. Faith is believing what God says is true.
God wants to be trusted and believed upon. In fact Scripture says "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31. Faith is our way of demonstrating our trust for God. Obedience to God's instructions and commands is putting our faith on display before both God and men.
Once we have demonstrated through our obedience and faith to God that we believe (in/on) Him, the approval of God will be shown unto us. The rewards from serving and believing upon God can not be fully comprehended by us, but they are tangible and exist. His blessings follow those who believe Him.
The Trust Factor
Many are seeking "someone to trust" through their exploration of relationships. I can vouch for the fact that God is both trustworthy and also a better friend than can be found in any other person. A true friend will stick closer to you than a brother. "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24.
Anyone in a relationship must be able to trust the other person. We need people around us who we can trust telling our hopes, dreams, and our problems to. Others can serve to uplift us when we are down. There is also wisdom in wise counsel that comes from those you can trust.
The Lord is both our wisdom and counsel. He says "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength." Proverbs 8:13-14.
(Having) An Eternal Relationship With God
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him." Psalm 34:8,9.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." Psalm 111:10.
All who call themselves believers, and followers of Christ, must truly follow Him, and abide in an eternal relationship with God through Christ. It is wise to desire to serve and follow after God.
It should be the goal of all Christians, those who are followers of Christ, to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), for then truly we shall have all things added unto us. God desires to give us the keys to His Kingdom and allow us access to spend eternity in His Presence. He asks that we keep ourselves pure, trustworthy, and fully devoted to Him.God gives us His righteousness through Jesus Christ, so that we might walk uprightly before Him without shame, spot or wrinkle. For apart from Him we can do nothing. But in Him we can do all things. May we be able to rejoice in Him and freely declare "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.