Why are relationships so difficult? Why do I do things that irritate people? Why are there people who totally annoy me? Sometimes I just want to go where I won’t ever have to deal with people and all of their stuff!!! Well…wait a minute…I wonder how many people say those things and think of me? Plain and simple, relationships are hard stuff.
As I was pondering what lessons God has wanted me to learn in this season, and immediately remembered that He is teaching me what “love one another” is all about. You see…when we refuse to abide by this mandate, then we give the enemy a foothold. This will develop into a stronghold and it gets harder and harder to deal with the situation and do the right thing. Laying aside ourselves to take up the concerns of others!
Just look what this passage in Colossians says from the Message paraphrase: “When you love someone you just want to spend time with them and that’s good because that is how relationship is cultivated.”
That just might be the easy part unless you have kids and schedules or work full-time. Making the effort with those commitments can get a bit sticky! However if we need to hang in there even when things get weird. Oh my do I know that that’s like and when it happens, I just want to escape and try not to deal with it. But that’s not the way to do it. That’s when I need to expend some effort to mend the hole created by an unkind word or a misunderstanding. I sure don’t want to take up an offense!
Colossians 3:12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Put on love, in other words it should be the first item on when you awaken and the last off before bedtime. And if you have a spouse then I guess you need it 24/7!
It is a big, and sometimes consuming job–all this relationship stuff! But you see, I have been given the mind of Christ. That means that I must gradually begin to adapt to Christ’s nature in me, as I journey through the tough stuff. Even though I have bad days, don’t I get a break here? Probably not if I am going to attain my goal. (Man, some days it can be a tough row to hoe!) And if you struggle with unconditional love like I do it can be even more difficult. But I am learning and it helps to take a look backward to see all that God has forgiven in me. This new garment of love takes a concerted effort to put and keep on, daily.
What can you do when relationships get sticky?
How difficult is it to wrangle your pride and admit that you may have had a role in an uncomfortable situation?
Father, it feels like I have so far to go on this journey, but I will continue to allow You to work out those uncomfortable traits in me even if it hurts and is uncomfortable. I will trust You as You continue to work all things together for my good and Your glory, in Jesus; name!