Inspirational Thought of the Day:
While adversity in relationships can threaten to kill a calling, it can become the very tool to shape it.
Scripture of the Day:
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Torn Down To Be Built Up
We have explored how presumption and lack of boundaries can negatively impact relationships. Today I want to end on a sweet note – how relationships model God’s relationship with us and help us to fulfill our God-given purpose – even when it does not look like it.
No man is an island – we were made for and need relationship. Yet this world is becoming a place where each one can be known by many via the WWW, yet not really be known at all. God made us for relationship with Him and one another. He uses relationships to refine our character, reveal our great need of God, to encourage us and to glorify Himself.
Man hurts man and man builds man up. Both ways of relating to one another can have an affect on our calling and lives. The negative relationships – where people try to affect us in a harmful or demeaning way – are actually not all bad. Sure, they hurt, but God uses even this for our good and His glory.
When we are torn down by others, we have a choice to allow them to push us down or to push through and come to God and ask for His wisdom. What can we learn from their criticism? How can God use it to humble us and cause us to go deeper into His calling for our lives?
Some of the most amazing achievements in this world have been wrought by some of the most anguishing of circumstances brought about by people who tried to prevent God’s purposes in His people.
Joseph was thrown into a cistern by jealous siblings. David was hunted down by a King who was threatened by him. Elijah’s very life was threatened because of the truth he shared. Our Savior was killed by a people convicted by their sin and His perfect life. When we seek to glorify God by living radical lives for Jesus, we will encounter people in relationship to us who try to discourage or stop us. Funny thing is, while adversity threatens to kill a calling, it can become the very tool to shape it.
At other times, when we feel we cannot continue against the barrage of attacks, we will encounter a Jonathan. In His goodness, the LORD brought Jonathan alongside David to encourage him when it did not seem that anyone was on his side. The world is not necessarily going to applaud our seeking to live our lives for God. But then, our calling was never about us in the first place. Man’s acceptance is fleeting and futile, but to be found faithful by God to carry out His mission – this is the greatest fruit of all coming from our relationships.
Jesus would not entrust himself to any man, yet He chose to give Himself to a people who would malign his character, abuse and crush him. Sometimes we can look to people to fill a space that they were not meant to fill – an emptiness of the soul that only God can fill. Rich, fulfilling relationships are truly a gift from God, but even these fall short of the relationship we can have with God.
Each relationship is a catalyst to help or hurt us in our walk with God. How can we glorify God in our relationships? The same way He showed us – by serving one another and putting one another as greater than ourselves. Spurring one another on in our relationships toward the calling of God, He is then made known to the world who can discover the richest relationship of all – with the One true God Who made us all.
Lord, what a joy it is to have a relationship with You! Help us to relate to one another in a way that glorifies You and helps people to see You when they look at us.