Following these 3 lessons will help you have a good, blessed and healthy relationship with others!
Our relationships with others can be delicate. All people are very different. A person’s way of thinking, and their way of processing the world around them, can be completely different from another’s. Not to mention that there are also several different styles of communication. God created each and every one of us in a very peculiar and specific way, which is very special. God has given us all gifts and abilities, in such a way that we can appreciate each other for the different strengths we have. Each of us also has areas in their nature where naturally we are weakest, areas that we can improve. In any case, there are many things we can learn in life through our relationships and interactions with others.
Lesson # 1: I need to focus on “the beam that is in my own eye”
One lesson that assures me of having a strong relationship with others is that I need to have my own connection with God in life and focus on myself and the different situations that are presented to me, instead of focusing on what I the others do. Most people know the verses in Matthew 7: 1-2: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with the judgment with which you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure with which you measure, it will be measured to you. ” The question now is: How can I carry out this in my daily life?
I know that the way I see things is not necessarily the same as someone else interprets in the same situation, and even when there is good communication there is the possibility of misunderstandings or wrong judgments. That is why when Jesus gave us that commandment, it was not simply because judging leads us to all kinds of evil (criticism, suspicion, gossip, etc …), but also we are not in the position of knowing if our judgment is completely true, does not exclude anything and is perfectly fair.
“And why do you look at the straw that is in your brother’s eye, and you do not see the beam that is in your own eye? Or how shall you say to your brother: Let me remove the speck from your eye, and behold the beam in your eye? Hypocrite! first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see well to take the straw out of your brother’s eye. “ Matthew 7: 3-5.
If I focus on myself when I am tempted to judge, I will realize that there are many things in my own life that I have to work with.
In my relationships and interactions with others, God wants to show me things about me; things that are not yet exactly as they should be in my life. (James 1: 4, 1 Peter 5:10, Philippians 3:12) For example: let’s say I have a tendency in my nature to worry about what others think of me, which causes me to spend a lot of time worrying about things that I have been told or done. God wants every day to have perfect joy and peace, and it is easy to see that worrying does not bring any of these two. That is why God has to show me that tendency in my daily situations, so that I have the opportunity to get rid of it and purify myself – overcome it.
Lesson # 2: We can have the same feeling no matter how different we are
Another thing we should know is that Jesus came to “abolish enmities.” (Ephesians 2: 14-18) In the New Testament it is written of how Greeks and Jews could not be seen “face to face” because they were totally different from each other – they had different customs, cultural traditions and different fundamental beliefs. They could not understand each other or get along with each other. But Jesus came with the “word of the cross” – which is to overcome the desires and demands of our flesh – and changed all these things.
Identify with Jesus and let the world know – get a t-shirt
In short, the goal is that we only react with kindness, compassion and love towards the people we come in contact with. In practice, it means that I have to overcome my own tendencies which prevent me from reacting in the way I should. It can be about my selfishness, imprudent opinions, anxiety, impatience, cowardice, fear of what people think, etc … So, even though people can be completely different and conflicts arise naturally, the road where we overcome our Desires and demands can end all enmity and give us the same feeling. We have a goal: to overcome all the tendencies that separate us from God and prevent us from being a blessing. (Ephesians 2:22)
Lesson # 3: Sometimes I just need to keep my mouth closed
Of course, not everyone believes in the “word of the cross”, and sometimes we can face situations where people (whether intentionally or unintentionally) hurt us or are simply rude. In these situations it is important to listen carefully to what God tells me. Sometimes it is necessary to give my opinion and say what has to be said, or at least explain my point of view and give the reason why I see and understand things differently. Sometimes it is necessary to fight for the truth, because what you say may be necessary to improve communication.
It also happens many times that after saying or giving my point of view about things, I know perfectly well that God is speaking to me and he says to me: “Now be silent.” Nor is it about angering or judging harshly the person with whom I do not agree.
When I am interested in overcoming my own tendencies to sin, instead of wanting others to change, I will be faithful in the trial and will not agree with the thoughts of bitterness, the thoughts of unfair judgment, or the impulse to want to murmur and do feel bad to others. This means that I need to be focused only on the intentions that God has for me in the situation: If I react according to His Word and His will. My whole way of reacting and the way I take things comes from my thoughts and whether or not I lead them captive to obedience to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10: 5)
Much of our sanctification is through our relationships, interactions and communication with others. While all this is certainly a learning process, when my desire to be a follower of Christ I press on to grasp the goal. (Philippians 3:12)