God made us to have relationships with others. If only we didn’t have to work at maintaining them.
Whenever I think of people, I think of the verse in Romans 12 that says, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
That’s a huge assignment, however, remember God left some provisos in there. God put the words ‘If possible’ and ‘so far as it depends on you’ in that verse because you will find someone you can’t get along with, regardless of how hard you try. But this verse makes me work hard to be gentle with people, and love them. I like to think of each person as someone Jesus died for, and that thought changes how I relate to others. Normally, I like to get things done, and sometimes people can appear to be obstacles. So, I have to remind myself how valuable they are in the eyes of God, realizing that if I have an enemy, it’s not them. The spiritual world will array against folk who want to obey God, and I remember to pray against those unseen forces while being kind to people.
It also helps to remind myself God didn’t make everyone like me. He installed creative thinkers, artists, scientists and builders in the world, and I am part of his plan, just not the whole plan. Romans 12: 3 tells us not to think more highly of ourselves that we ought, but to see ourselves with sober judgment. I believe that means we see ourselves as a vital part of God’s church. Not the whole thing. But important.
As someone who’d rather get the job done yesterday, I have to remember relationships take time. Rather than think about what I need to get done next, I need to be willing to talk to people and really listen. If I hear what they say, I can get excited about things they care about. People enjoy having someone listen, and they are more likely to listen to me, if I care about them.
Peggy Sue Wells is writing about the Five Rs of Relationships, and she’s going to share her thoughts today.
Learn more about her here.