Relationships

May 23, 2017

Relationships

The majority of problems in our society stem from problems in relationships. Criminals have a problem in their relationship with society. Marriage problems stem from a poor relationship between the spouses. Problems in school result from a poor relationship between classmates or the teacher/teachers. Problems in the work place are caused by a bad relationship between employees and other employees or their employer.

A friend is one with whom we have a good relationship. Fortunate and happy are those who have many friends. Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” We need friends like that. Proverbs 18:24 says that it is possible to have friends who stick closer to us than a brother. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” To have that kind of friends we must do our part. We too must love our friends at all times. We must show ourselves friendly. That means we must have the right relationship.

We greatly benefit from knowing how to build and maintain relationships. Relationships are built and maintained by qualities of character. Bad character traits tend to break down and destroy relationships. For example, if we know that someone is dishonest we distrust him because we never know when we too may be hurt by his lying tongue. If someone easily looses his temper we never know when he may pour out his wrath upon us.

Having good relationships begins with having the right relationship with God. That begins when we confess to God from our heart that we are sinners and ask him to forgive us and make us one of his children. Christ died on the cross in our place and we need to receive him as our Savior. That is a prayer he always hears and answers. He accepts us as we are, but then he begins his mighty work in us to make us what we aught to be. He begins what Philippians 1:6 calls “a good work in us.” In Ephesians 4:22-24 the believer is exhorted to “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Ephesians 4:31-32 has a solution for problems we have in relationships. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” It is the will of God that his people produce the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The more of these character traits we have the better will be our relationships. They will weed out the bad traits mentioned in Galatians 5:25. “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

It is impossible to have good relationships if we don’t have good moral values. When people leave God out of their lives their moral values suffer. God gives us moral values that guide us in our relationships. In the Old Testament God’s people had the ten commandments. If we would only abide by them we would have far less problems with relationships. Jesus gave us what is often called “the golden rule.” It is found in Matthew 7:12. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” The application of that rule would transform the relationships of many.

It is past time that we get alarmed about the deterioration of our society. Does it bother you? Few get alarmed about unruly thugs who form gangs and go out to the street in protest of some trumped up cause. They break store windows and set fire to cars. As long as it doesn’t happen in their neighborhood, most people think little about it.

What can we do to get things turned around in our country? What can we do to promote better relationships among people? Personally, we can surrender our lives to God and give him liberty to makes changes in us that need to be made. Romans 12:1-2 says “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

There needs to be a great awakening in our country. People need to be alarmed about the way our culture and society is deteriorating. We can’t get people into classrooms and teach them how to think. It has to be done on a one to one basis. You and I can have a part in it if we change some and they change some, and it goes on and on. Use your influence any way you can to help others see the need of having good relationships with others. If you have children and grandchildren, start with them. Perhaps there are school mates, work mates and others with whom you have contact. God can use you if you have the right relationship with him.

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