How do you look at challenging relationships?
May 2, 2017, 6:00 AM

How do you look at challenging relationships?  God uses the relationships we have with one another to shape us into the image of Christ. That sounds great, right? Sure it does, when considering that the relationship is a good one. But what about the ones that are not so good? What about that person, as hard as you’ve tried, you simply can’t seem to get along with? What is God doing in the midst of such adversity?  If only God would change their heart, then all would be right. That is typically how we think when faced with a challenging relationship. But what if God’s desire is to change something in us? It is often in the more difficult situations that the most growth can occur. We don’t always like to hear that. The good news is that even though we may be “pressed” God will not allow us to be “crushed.”


The question is are we willing to lay down our pride and trust that God is at work? Oswald Chambers said this, “If you are hard and vindictive, insistent on having your own way, and always certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, then there are whole areas of your nature that have never been transformed by His grace.” What I’ve learned through relationships is that whether I believe I’m right or know I’m wrong, I’m a sinner in need of grace and forgiveness. The grace that God extends doesn’t end with us. It is a gift that we must offer to others. When we do, something amazing happens: Christ is seen. How has the grace of God transformed your life? Do you believe the grace you offer to another can help in their transformation?


Our Lord Jesus is the only one who ever had a real right to stand against the forces that sought to bring Him down. Yet, humbly, He denied that right to Himself to have a relationship with us. The cross has an endless source of power. It’s the first place I go in times of conflict, the times when I desire justice more than anything else. There I’m reminded that Jesus is my justifier, He is for me. And because I trust Him, I can better see the other person. I’m able to rise above the situation and endure anything that might bring this person into a closer relationship with Christ. I believe this is what Paul meant when he said,” To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:22-23


This is my Prayer: Father God, forgive me when I find it difficult to forgive others. Jesus help me love as You have loved me and trust that in my doing so, Your glory will be displayed. Lord let the pride I carry be laid down at the foot of the cross to the point of complete abandonment, and fill me with Your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.