Stewardship & Our Relationships – Session VI
We all have them – relationships that is.
Family, friends, co-workers, children, significant others or relationships play an influential role in our lives.
They will always be either a source of great joy or great sorrow.
We often desire to volunteer in missions or ministry not realizing our mission field begins within our inner circle and our relationships.
Stewarding our relationships isn’t about manipulation but rather wise management and requires self-control, discipline, restraint and most importantly forgiveness.
Stewarding relationships is not about attempting to change others or manipulate them to fill voids only God can fill.
Understanding that our happiness and self-worth will never be anyone else’s responsibility is critical to making wise relationship choices and will set us on a path to authentic, lasting happiness.
When we look to meet our internal emotional needs externally we will always be searching yet never finding because to rely on our children, co-workers, friends, family, parents or significant other to validate us is simply a set up for ongoing disappointment and heartache.
Relationships are one of God’s first and finest gifts beginning with Adam and Eve as He never intended for us to do life alone.
Some relationships like family God chooses for us perhaps knowing it is within that familial unit we will learn our greatest lessons.
The absolute, most critical requirement in stewarding any relationship past or present is Forgiveness.
Oftentimes we cling to painful childhood or yesterday’s memories refusing to forgive forgetting that Christ Himself tells us that “the measure we use, it will be measured to us” meaning we are forgiven by God to the degree in which we ourselves are willing to forgive. Matt 7:2. That my friend is powerful.
For 42 years I held onto past hurts.
Alienating myself from God and blaming Him and others I wore anger and resentment like a favorite tee refusing to forgive and yet wondered why loneliness seemed to be my only companion.
Every area of my life was infected with unforgiveness and it’s ugly effects were apparent to anyone within hearing range.
It gave me permission to play the victim and an excuse for poor choices and failed relationships.
It was the crutch I leaned on to justify bad behavior and avoid taking responsibility for my life. It eventually became a prison cell of my own creation.
Friend, when we can truly forgive others and ourselves, life opens up in ways we never imagined.
The chains and bondage of unforgiveness will forever keep us from having the relationships we desire and will destroy any attempt at them.
Yes, some relationships will always be complicated or painful.
Children will wound parents and parents will hurt their children. Coworkers will be catty, friends will betray and relationships will come and go like the seasons.
But we must remember that we are all flawed individuals regardless of our spiritual or societal status.
While we have been wounded in relationships we must never forget that we too have inflicted wounds on those we profess to love and care about.
Hurtful words spoken in an emotional moment, gossiping behind backs, taking others generosity and kindness for granted or simply disregarding their feelings if we are honest we will admit to sometimes being the source of pain.
We need forgiveness as much as we need to forgive.
God’s Word has much more to say about every form of relationships and Paul instructs the churches in great detail about how to carry on healthy relationships.
However, without forgiveness no relationship will ever be able to survive much less thrive.
Do yourself a favor and forgive. Your life is waiting.