Are your relationships helping you move forward and vice versa?
Do you spend more time managing situations instead of moving into what God has planned for you?
Over the last few weeks my church, Christian Faith Center, has been teaching on this very topic, and I actually went through my own personal test. As I was driving home one night I turned the radio station just in time to hear a woman say, “you know, relationships are so important.”
The series I have been gleaning from is called, Connected, and you can watch all of the videos right here.
Your influences and connections can either hinder you or help you grow, and if that’s not happening in your inner circle it may be time to make some changes.
Here are a few highlights from my notes with my own personal thoughts added on how to build the right friendships with people, which affects every aspect of our lives.
Care about others
Choose to put people before you and set yourself aside. We live in a me-centered, selfie society and often forget what the other person might be going through. As the saying goes, put yourself in their shoes before jumping to any conclusions.
Align yourself with those who have shared interests
It’s important that the people you are close to and are doing life with are walking on the same path as you. We may not be perfect, but at least we share the same goals. Jesus said, “If two or more agree…” Don’t base your close relationships on personality — instead you need to be aligned in your mission and values.
Communication is key
This is something that should always be worked on and refined. But we need to communicate with others with an attitude of grace and become good listeners instead of interjecting our own opinion all of the time. If you find yourself thinking about what you want to say next while the other person is talking stop and really tune into what they are saying. We learn so much more with less interjections and more listening.
Time is important
Redeem your time and use it wisely. Value your relationships with time. Evaluate what’s taking your time. Give up certain things or make an adjustment. Your greatest investment is your relationships. Life and seasons change. There are sacrifices during seasons. Many times when God wants to use us it’s not convenient for us, but that is the time to be obedient because the reward is so much greater on the other side of our personal preferences.
Choose to be thoughtful
Be mindful of what others are going through at the time and sensitive to this in your conversations. For example, they might not want to hear you talk about a new client if one of their deals has just fallen through. Our words can bless others or cause them more pain. Words are powerful and God’s plan is for speech to be edifying to others in a way that builds them up.
Be open to forgive
We all make mistakes. Failure happens at both ends. You can’t fix people, but you can forgive them and overcome the situation with the Word and God’s help. We walk through this life together but we can’t change each other. No matter what choose to forgive and trust again. The joy of the Lord is your strength, and a merry heart does good like medicine.
Win the battle together
We fight for each other – not against each other!
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
Find a way to stay in unity:
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Romans 16:17 (KJV)
Healthy friendships help others to be their best. We’re the body of Christ – we can’t be handicapped or crippled by broken relationships.
Take note of your current relationships and if they do not line up with the Word of God then you need to make a shift. This doesn’t necessarily mean to completely cut someone out of your life — in some cases this is necessary if there is no change or repentance. We are all a work in progress — stepping back allows God to help you grow as you pray for them to change as well. In order to fulfill our destiny we need to be aligned with those who will lift us, correct us, love us, and are on the same mission.
What has God shown you about relationships?