Inspirational Thought of the Day:
We were made to know God, be known and make Him known.
Scripture of the Day:
“Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom.”
Maintaining relationships is hard work, made worse by electronic communication in our hurried world. I thought it might be beneficial to explore what benefits and detracts from healthy relationships.
Relationships are at the very core of the purpose of our existence. We were made to know God, be known and make Him known. But sometimes things get in the way. Maybe it’s pride, (another translation renders presumption in the verse above as pride). Maybe it’s plain old sin and maybe it is all in our mind.
It’s All in the Mind
Our minds are running a mile a minute, processing our own thoughts, data we are ingesting and information people are throwing at us, as well. In the middle of all those thoughts it can be difficult to be still long enough to evaluate what is truth and what is not.
One thing I have had to work on a lot is the truth espoused in the verse above – presumption causes strife. We like to think of ourselves as discerning. Maybe other people have said or done something that affirms our suspicions, but maybe we aren’t called to question people’s motives at all. That’s God’s job.
In humility, we cannot know another’s heart and certainly cannot imagine their thoughts when we cannot keep up with our own! Nothing makes the enemy more angry than going against a thought that is negative toward another individual. How about praying for the person we think doesn’t like us instead of allowing that thought into the doorway of our mind?
Presumption is a common tool of the enemy to divide the people of God. Vain imaginations about what people are thinking based on perceptions of their behavior only leads to isolation and conflict. Why not skip the drama and choose to look for the redeeming aspects of brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s a lot more fun and brings glory to God, too.
Sometimes people might not be outgoing. Maybe they gossiped about us or hurt us. Or maybe it’s just a personality disparity. That’s ok – everyone is not going to like everybody. But if our focus is on glorifying God in all our relationships – even the sticky ones – then we need to examine our hearts and make sure we treat one another like we would treat Christ (Matthew 7:12, Matthew 25:40).
When people leave church over perceptions or allow a bitter root to set in, satan wins and God is not glorified. But when we pursue one another in love and choose to believe the best about each other, God is truly glorified. In the middle of trying to relate to other people in a way that is uplifting, we discover we were not made to judge others, shun others, or think about self at all. Just made to make God known by how we love one another – even when we don’t understand our differences. This, then, is how God is glorified in our relationships – a reflection of what it means to be a Christian.