Relationships - needed but sometimes difficult
We live through relationships. In fact, God made us for relationship, “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 1:18. relationships have varying levels of intimacy from a spouse, child, family, friend, work colleague to a person you may meet once in the street. relationships bring a blessing to us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! .... For there the Lord bestows his blessing, ………… even life forevermore.” Psalm 133:1-3. When a family of a group or even an organisation is working well together, God blesses that unity.
In order for relationships to work well there needs to be four basic elements – love, trust, honour and integrity. They form as it were the basic building blocks of relationships. When in the correct balance and strength, relationships are a place of nurture, growth and comfort. We look forward to meeting and being with the other person.
You may say, “How can I love my fellow man when they are so deceitful or lying or hurting? We can trust God for He is a just judge and he says it is His to judge. Every person will come before the seat of judgement and give account for the things they have done wrong to others. This is what we rest on – allowing God to be the judge.
Our part is to forgive – that is a difficult thing for us sometimes, especially when we have been hurt badly. Jesus said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15. We will get massive release of our bitterness and grudges if we can forgive – it may be a gradual process that you forgive – layer-by-layer. The opposite or un-forgiveness has bad effects on our health – mental and physical (See the unforgiving/unmerciful servant in Matthew 18 – he was “thrown to the tormentors”).
The truth of trust is – trust is earned! As we get to know a person we can allow them closer in to our inner-circle. It is also true that if trust is broken as in an unfaithful spouse, that relationship of trust is broken – even if the aggrieved spouse forgive the other party – it does not mean that trust then needs to be restored – the unfaithful spouse needs to show they are trustworthy over time and so restore the relationship.
To honour someone is to treat them with respect and dignity, even to prefer them over yourself. An encourager will build up a person – show their good points and not necessarily dwell on the negative. Paul puts it so clearly in 1 Thessalonians 5: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..”