Do you ever have those relational upheavals that make you tired? Whether it is your mate, your family or friends, do you hit one of those emotional oil slicks where everyone goes crashing into each other, and all the parties end up in the relationship hospital?
Sounds likes a lot of drama doesn’t it? But it happens, it really does. You can’t say the right thing, he/she can’t say the right thing, and before you know it, it’s emotional ICU, either Chaos or Ice City. Not pretty.
I am assuming you can connect the dots about why this is my chosen topic. But I am finding out (again!) that the Lord does this for several reasons.
The Lord lets us bump into each other to see what spills out. It is a temperature check to see how our hearts are really doing. If I blow a gasket over something small, it could be there is a deeper issue. Just like fever indicates infection, our reactions indicate lack of forgiveness, unresolved hurt, need for grace. Sunday morning, Rick Dunn made this great comment, “When you have a need, it shows that you are not a god, but you need one. Which God will you turn to?” When I sense I have a relationship fever, what medicine will I seek? Coping and denial? Or humility and restoration?
Relationship crashes make us better relational drivers. It only takes a couple of fender benders, or a major accident, to make you a more conscious driver. I see in my relationships that I sometimes act like a drunk driver, all over the road, ignoring signs, crashing into guardrails. I am DUI, driving under the influence of something other than the Holy Spirit. Being selfish, hard hearted, determined to be right, lacking boundaries, all of these are sure to deter my (and your) ability to properly handle a relationship. Just like the road, our relationships need yellow lines, no passing zones, and concrete dividers. For our good and the good of others. God uses these moments to teach us how to define and defend boundaries.
Finally, these pile ups help to tenderize our hearts, drawing them back to God. When we see the messes we have made, we go back to the Relationship Expert. We tap into His love, His mercy, His DESIRE for us to walk in health. He stirs a desire that we be rightly connected to Him and to others. He does that. And then He begins to create change by revealing truth, again and again. Truth: I can only change ME, rather than trying to change another person. It is in this posture before His unfailing love, that He tells me I am 100% responsible for me. Truth: I am 100% responsible for my behavior, attitudes and heart. I can’t change or fix another person. They can’t change or fix me. But the flip side is, I can change with the Holy Spirit’s help, how I react and relate, even how I love someone else. Even in this, loving someone, God is the source. Truth: He is 100% responsible to transform you and I into the ways of Christ. He will complete the good work He began in us.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7