There’s the word called ‘Relationship’ that the Lord has been highlighting to me. It’s a word that Father God seems to take very seriously, and I wonder if we know just how important it is to Him.
There are many different types of relationships. Relationship can refer to family relations and relatives. It could be friendships, acquaintances or romantic relationships. Some of these relationship types can overlap. The main difference between family relations and friendships is that with family, you don’t usually get to choose who they are, we often get thrust into a family. With friendships, you decide or choose who you want to be friends with. The romantic relationship sometimes leads to marriage depending on the intensity of love between the couples. With acquaintances, these may be a neighbour or people you run into once in a while.
Whatever the relationship, for it to thrive, Father God desires that we focus on our relationship with Him because not only is this what sustains all our other relationships, it also impacts it. When we surrender our hearts for Him to soften them towards one another. He provides the level of trust, honour, honesty, communication, respect, loyalty that each relationship needs.
We ought to come to a place where we are immensely grateful that Jesus went to the Cross for us so we could receive healing from diseases and forgiveness from our sin (Isaiah 53:3-5). Having gotten a revelation of the depth of love that facilitated this (Ephesians 1:18-23), we begin to understand that He bore everything for us, so there shouldn’t be anything too difficult for us to do for Him. This should include forgiveness of anyone who has wronged us.
The ability to forgive is God-given. Sometimes it is so painful we need to ask for more help from the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness is neither an admission of guilt nor is it a relinquishing to another person being right. Forgiveness releases us from holding onto or being in bondage with the person, and releases them and the situation to God. We also need to ask the Lord how he wants us positioned for that love to flow through us and out into the world. The way this love flows out is in our relationships with others. If we have received His love, then we can share this love with others. It’s difficult to give out what you have not received. It’s difficult to receive when there is no relationship.
With our different personalities and our experiences growing up, our relationship with the Godhead is not always as close as it should be. We often suffer from wounds and lies that we have believed over the years, that distorts these relationships. Also our ability to imbibe the Fruit of the Spirit helps us cope in relationships and allows us forgive easily.
Our relationships will take on a new meaning if we are diligent to love ourselves and also love others from a Godly source. This was what Jesus modelled for us. He had so many relationships and extended unconditional love to them all. He was not judgemental and His relationships changed people for the better, like with Simon Peter. He forgave Peter though Peter denied Him, and Jesus restored their relationship. Another example is the ‘Woman by the well’ who was transformed by meeting with Jesus and became a great evangelist.
Jesus created us so that, like Him, our encounters with people would transform their lives. But in our relationships, it is also important that we understand that we can only be responsible for ourselves, for our part. Our giving love by forgiving when we feel wronged should really not be about the other person’s attitude and response. We need to learn to rise above circumstances so our relationships thrive. We need to avoid opening the doors of our lives to offence, distrust, bitterness and other negatively impacting things. Jesus always interacted in such a way that relationships thrived in His Hands.
Maybe today you need to ask God to take hold of some relationships in your life and help you steward them. I would suggest that we ask Father God, which relationships He wants us to deal with. We can ask Him to help us forgive and surrender our hearts to Him to heal. Mina