Relationships ~ The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Relationships…

We all have them and they are the source of strength, and sometimes can be the source of turmoil.  I have found that there are two types of relationships: 1) Unconditional 2) Conditional.

Relationships that are unconditional, have no expectations and a reciprocated in nature… And then conditional – typically have expectations and judgments’ that often feed conflict.

The ideal relationships are the ones that both sides love, forgive and take the relationship at face value.   A relationship such as this is free-flowing, does not feel forced and comes naturally.

We idealize the types of relationships that are “perfect” by our standards don’t we?   Is this the type of relationship we always hope for?  

But God never said that life would be easy did He?   And in the times where there is strife,  if one is open to it, can bring the most growth in ourselves and sometimes those around us.    

I understand the dynamics associated with relationships that feel less than perfect….   My tendency in the past has been to push away from the relationships that require the most work.

But does God want us to turn away?

You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love them who love you, what reward have you? do not even the tax collectors the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you more than others? do not even the tax collectors so? Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

It is difficult isn’t it?    When someone “wrongs”  you is your reaction to find someone to confide in?   When you are talking about the issue, does it make the situation feel better  and do you feel more justified in your actions/reactions?

“Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you tell your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye;’ and behold, the beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

We can choose to idealize this life, or we can take action now to create change.    Every small change has a ripple effect.

But “how” can we take action?   The “how” is the biggest question.   

  • Create realistic boundaries in your life, about what type of behavior you are willing to endure.   There is nothing wrong with realistic boundaries, God does not want us to be doormats.  The bible encourages us to remove ourselves from people who will hurt us.
    • “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.  What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”” (1 Cor 5:11-13)
  • Distance yourself from the situation to allow for perspective and space, this will help you refocus and approach the situation in an impartial (emotional free) way.  Our emotions are charged when we feel like someone is hurting us or not meeting our expectations.
    • The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. (Proverbs 22:3)
  • Ask yourself if it is time to have a heart to heart, sometimes people may not even know the impact of their actions on others.   Being open and honest is the best policy; but you must remember your audience when speaking the truth.
    • If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Cor 13: 1-3)
  • Do all things out of love, when you react in love, goodness always reigns.
    • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor 13: 4-7)

We are only here for a short time, forgiveness goes a long way.

Forgiveness does not mean that you have forgotten, it just means that you don’t carry the burden of the pain or heartache.   Yes, it is important to have boundaries, and sometimes space is needed.

But it important to remember, we only have one life to live and in order to be present we have to let go of the hurt that inhibits us to be all that we can be…  As adults. we have grown beyond a childlike response and can control our reactions, we can choose a response that radiates LOVE.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13: 8-13)

Thank-you for popping by, may God bless you on your journey,

~Ness

 

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