Article of the week - Let's improve our relationships!


Galatians 5.15 - But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

 

I would like to address a series of reflections on social relations. Pastor Benson, who wrote an article on the subject, noted 43 references to "trouble" in the Bible, 43 recommendations for improving human relationships, especially in the church. I often say it, we are social beings and we need others, God did not say Himself that it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Unfortunately, sin has severely deteriorated relations between us and "trouble" is taking over, this disorder taking the form of conflicts, antagonisms, disputes, struggles, confrontations, competitions, disagreements, oppositions and finally we spend our time fighting, sometimes even with the hands.

 

The Church is often very far from her call to be an example of unity so that the world believes in Jesus Christ, sent by the Father. It is often the laughingstock of people without God who like to expose their hypocrisy. We have serious efforts to make our relationships become true and profound, so that the word "Love" is a reality with our brothers and sisters in the faith and not a fiction. For this we all need to let the Holy Spirit "work" on our characters and treat our carnal impulses, anger, hatred, pride or selfishness as "intruders in our paradise".

 

James 1.20 -  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God

 

Speaking of anger, we are already tackling a serious problem. For many, there is a kind of "holy anger" that allows us to justify some of our outbursts. We hide behind the fact that Jesus got angry by driving out the vendors of the Temple and we feel that we can outweigh others by virtue of this example.

 

The apostle James was not of this opinion, for him the anger does not demonstrate something right and if we look more closely at the passages that speak of Jesus in the Temple, none of the Gospels says that He was in anger, his gesture is explained by a demonstration of devouring zeal for the House of his Father (John 2:17). Many of the people we met in the ministry have suffered tremendously from the anger of a loved one, whether parent or spouse. Suffering anger causes paralysis, guilt and a very bad self-image. When we give free rein to our anger, we open a door to the destruction of those around us and a deterioration of our relationships.

 

However, as a human being, it is not easy not to "see everything red" in certain situations, but in this case the Apostle Paul suggests that we not let the day end on this feeling (Ephesians 4:26). ). The calm returned, do not hesitate to ask forgiveness for our loss of cold blood and learn to contain ourselves, for the good of those we love.

 

Genesis 27.41 - So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him; and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are very near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

 

Augustine of Hippo said that the antithesis of love is not hatred but indifference. Even though hate is deadly, it is still a feeling. Hatred is often due to a deceived, abused or scorned love and is rooted in suffering. I am not excusing this devastating feeling, but there is no point in condemning it definitively if we want to be able to help.

 

As part of the ministry, we looked after a man who had become incapable of loving someone yet. He harbored a strong sense of hatred for his mother who had abandoned him when he was only three years old. It was very difficult for him, but he was released when he let go, including his desire for revenge. Hatred destroys the inner being to the point of stifling all feeling of love and locks the one who suffers in a bottomless pit. To become free again, it is essential to accept to let go of this bad feeling to free our souls.

 

Let's be careful about how we behave with those who love us. Do not have an attitude or a way of speaking that hurts them and causes them to harbor resentment and ultimately hatred against us. Christian friends, let us try to have compassion for those who are closed and show them the love of our Father.

 

Luke 16.19 and 20 - “Now there was a certain rich man who was habitually dressed in expensive purple and fine linen, and celebrated and lived joyously in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, covered with sores.

 

After anger and hate, let's tackle another destructive feeling of human relationships: selfishness. Unquestionably, we are all! Our first reaction is to think of ourselves and too often the gestures of love themselves are about our own interest. I took a blatant example in the Bible: that of a rich man who led a happy life despite the fact that a poor patient was lying at his door. We'll say, "Oh, I'm not that way!" Probably, but how many Lazarus are before our eyes via the media and that makes us neither hot nor cold? How many prayers are centered on our life: Lord, bless me, give me this job, this house, this car, protect my life of comfort, etc?

 

Another observation, how many marriages are based on this feeling: You please me, you will satisfy me, I want ... One and the same "to be" completely distorts my relationships with others: my ego. If we want to build something solid, especially at the level of the couple, we must let the cross do its work in our heart, we must know how to die to ourselves. We are not talking about being completely annihilated in our personality, but of sacrificing our interest for that of others, especially those close because it is in the family that this must begin.

 

Luke 18.11 - The Pharisee stood and began praying to himself : ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men—swindlers, unjust adulterers—or even like this tax collector.

 

I end this series of negative attitudes to the good of our human relations by talking about pride. From the outset I must admit that there is a good pride. To be content with oneself or an accomplished job is a good thing and is not pride. It strengthens our emotional being and gives us much more assurance in life.

 

Pride begins when we compare ourselves to others, as our Pharisee in the text. When we speak of harmful pride, it is this proud feeling of being better or being right! This pride can manifest itself in the form of snobbery towards a race, a people, a social class, etc. I do not speak of racism, which is rooted in fear, but of this haughty attitude towards human beings that are considered inferior.

 

Christian friend, when you testify, think about that. We are not superior to those who have not yet received Jesus Christ, the only difference is that we have grasped the grace of God. Let us not insist on being right even if we know the truth, and respect the convictions of others by trying to make them think.

 

And in your family? Instead of sulking in your corner waiting for others to apologize, take the step of reconciliation, stop the escalation of the dispute and calm the game, the important thing is not to be right but to live happily and in harmony.

 

      Ezekiel 37 Ministries © www.mfpg.be


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