Steps to Building, Maintaining, and Restoring Relationships…
Being an encourager, I always want to remain positive. But I do want to give you a real warning. Somewhere in our journey in the steps to building, maintaining, and restoring relationships, you might be tempted to lose your initial excitement for this subject. You may secretly pray, Lord, please help Ron to move on to some other aspect of relationships. Subjects like how to repair my marriage or my relationship with my employer or close friend. Let me kindly remind you these steps are ways to do that. Often because they are so painfully hard, we want to find a different or easier way. If you choose to go a different route, I hope you find it, but in over 50 years of ministry, I haven't found a different or less painful way. NO PAIN-NO GAIN! Here are a few things I believe are necessary.
ASKING FOR GOD'S HELP... AFFIRMING THEIR VALUE... ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR RESPONSIBILITY… AND THEN
ALLOW PEOPLE TO BE HUMAN…
So often, we don’t want to let other people be human. We want to hold them to a standard we can’t meet ourselves. We expect more of them than we do of ourselves. Do you know anybody in this world who is faultless? Do you know anybody perfect? Do you know anybody who has no weaknesses? No, you don’t!
Then why are we so tough on our friends, kids, spouse, pastor, and even employer when they show the slightest weakness or flaw? Why do you expect perfection out of them when nobody in the world is perfect, including you? Why don’t you cut them some slack? Why don’t you back off? Why not be forgiving? Why not allow others to be human instead of expecting perfection?
You see, when pride rears its ugly head in your life, and somebody challenges your way of doing things, your reputation, your intelligence, or whatever, then you get all prickly. If you are easily offended by others or get your feelings hurt frequently, you have a pride problem. It is all about you. You need to let God deal with it because it’s keeping you from being happy.
Ephesians 4:2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love. 1 Corinthians 13:7) Love is always ready to make allowances. That’s the loving thing to do. It’s unloving to hold people to a standard that even you can’t keep.
Humility is also recognizing that no one is perfect. Colossians 3:13 You must make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Notice the motivation. You have been forgiven and shown grace, so why not be gracious to others?
I don’t know any of these steps that would do more to reduce the friction in your relationships than to stop expecting perfection. Stop demanding that people be perfect. If you do this, your friction and frustration level will be reduced, and your joy level will be increased. You will get along a lot better with people. You will stop being frustrated and disappointed all the time. And you might begin to enjoy life.