weekly devotional

4-6-22

Bridges

Have you ever thought about your greatest memories? Those times when you were overjoyed? Inspired? Felt like you belonged? Had a ton of fun? Or what about the times that were the most meaningful? When you felt known and accepted for the first time? When you realized the purpose of your life? Or you saw that purpose play out in a wonderful way? These are all special times and places in your lives. Just for the sake of feeling encouraged, I would challenge you to go back through each of these questions and write down a memory. If you can answer these questions thoughtfully, you will likely feel very blessed and encouraged. What you will also find is that almost all of these memories involve other people. If other people are not directly involved, they will certainly have played an important role in the situation from afar. Either way, to think through these amazing blessings in our lives and see that other people are almost always involved… it communicates something significant, something that we often overlook and undervalue. Relationships are important!!!!


 


Even to the extreme introvert, other people are important. Don’t believe me? Come talk to me, and let’s have a conversation around how that statement is true. Relationships are important because they challenge us to be better, to think differently, to be encouraged, and so many other important keys to a good life. Yet the reality is, most of us do a poor job at taking care of our relationships. We find ourselves arguing with people we love, taking shots at them by saying something hurtful, or we do something that hurts/offends them without knowing and don’t know what to say after it happens. Why is it that no matter how hard we try we offend and hurt people who are close to us? And what about the people who we are not close too? The people we find annoying, mean, arrogant, or gross? We catch ourselves talking about them behind their back and sometimes we even confront them saying or doing something really hurtful. If relationships are so important, why do we think we can treat people like dirt and get away without being affected?


The reality is that every relationship is important. Every person you love and every person you can’t stand are significant and should be treated with respect. Not only that, but we should treat everyone as we want to be treated. We know this! We have learned about this “Golden Rule” since we were little. But we don’t always follow it. In fact, many of us will be ashamed of our actions and words as we grow older. 


The sad reality is, we don’t know what we are doing and on top of that, we are selfish. So how do we learn to treat others well? How do we build them up, encouraging them to be their best? How do we interact with people we struggle be in the same room with? How do we move from a selfish person that doesn’t know how to be a good friend to someone who is able to demonstrate love and valuing others in order to help them be their best? There are many things you can try, books you can read, and even Instagram reels you can watch, but none of them will help you be the best version of you or make you into a person who knows how to build and treasure relationships. For that type of growth, we have to take a close look at Jesus. It is by learning who He is, what He has done, and how He continues to love us even when we are wicked. Its actually by growing in your relationship with Jesus that you will learn what it means to steward your relationships well.


Action Steps: 

Read John 17. In this chapter, Jesus prays for you, for me, and everyone who has a had a relationship with Him. In this prayer to God the Father, Jesus prays in 7 specific ways for us and all of them teach us about relationships. Lets see who can find all 7!