Have you ever had that terrible feeling of failing someone that you didn’t want to let down? Or have you ever felt terrible after you have done something you promised you wouldn’t do?
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
Let’s say you have a secret sin that you continually struggle with, then one day you are confronted with the immensity of your failures – this triggers your emotional response and changes your mood. I can testify to this in many personal aspects. I had something that I could never shake off- then one day after I tripped myself up again I just exploded at my family members; I ranted and raged at those around me when, in all honesty, I was only very mad and irritated with myself. I knew I failed myself, but moreover, I knew I had failed God. And that made me feel sick.
That day you accepted the Lord as your Savior you opened your life and heart to His Spirit- this means that you will have a living relationship with Him. Talking to Him, reading His Word and listening for His voice…it is an ongoing relationship. Thus, when you have a personal issue you have to sort out with the Lord, it will obviously affect other parts of your life as well.
Here is a little something for you to ponder: how can we love unless we’ve been loved or know what it is? How can we care unless someone cares for us?
Have you ever tried loving someone in your own strength? It’s hard, isn’t it? It is almost impossible. Of ourselves we cannot forgive 70 x 7 times when the person hurts us over and over again. We cannot fix our hearts to look at them in a different light when all we see is the pain they continually cause us. We can only accomplish these things with God’s help, thus our relationships with others are greatly affected when our relationship with God is off-balance.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Many times God asks us to do hard things. He asks us to obey no matter what the cost. He asks us to follow no matter what we leave behind. He asks us to forsake our own ways and rather seek His will. He asks us to let go of certain ‘stuff’ we have treasured all our lives.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Now we have two options in these situations: we can either obey and experience the joy that comes with obeying our Savior, or we can disobey and do our own will and then face the consequences, whatever they may be. Many times the mere fact that you disobeyed your Commander is enough to make you taste gall in your mouth. It’s supposed to hurt in your heart when you deliberately choose to go against His will. Your relationship with Christ must be so real and tangible that it should grieve you when you walk away from Him.
“To obey is better than sacrifice.”
1 Samuel 15: 22b
In essence we ought to keep our eyes on Him and let Him guide the rest of our lives. When we look to Him we will see where we ought to be on the path in front of us. He will teach us how to love the ones around us, He will give us a love in our hearts towards others and help us to care for them and show them kindness. Without Him it is impossible to keep the right attitude towards people.
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12: 2
But hey- let’s get practical:
- Make time for quiet time! How do you expect your relationships with people to be in good shape if you neglect your relationship with God?
- Make sure you are right with Him. If there is a secret sin hindering you- handle it! Don’t let it fester inside your heart. Just open the wound and clean it out. Get right with God!
- Control your emotions– no amount of frustration or madness is an excuse for sin. Stop justifying your actions when you know what the root is.
- Ask God for guidance with the people that are in your life- what your role in their lives should be, how you can be a blessing to them, what their roles in your life can be. Ask Him about all the aspects you wonder about.
- Handle people with care and love. We are all in need of those, but don’t be shy to admonish where God directs. We ought to build one another up (correcting and admonishing in love is part of that deal).
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”
May you be in awe of what Christ has done for you before you try to turn to people. May you be in wonder of His mercy and great grace towards you before you try to forgive others around you. May He direct you in the ways you should go with the people around you. May He be your Guide.