This week I was given an opportunity to speak in one of our churches in Taytay, Manila in the Philippines. I used that opportunity to share some thoughts about the importance of Relationship.
Relationship is a very broad theme and cover many different fields. It is one of the major themes in the Bible that runs from Genesis to Revelation. Relationship can be broken down into different categories and sub categories. One can develop a long series of lectures, sermons, or even write books about the different types of relationships.
Relationship is very important because nobody can avoid it. Everything that exist relates to one another in unique ways.
No human being is an island. Relationships serve a purpose. No one or nothing goes into a relationship without a purpose. In anything we do, we seldom do without any form of relationship.
As Christians, we enter into a relationship with God, with God’s people and the nature around us. One of the important type of relationship is the relationship that exists between our inner-circle of friends. In that I mean we have many friends, but there are some we feel more close and comfortable with and maybe spend more time together, share secrets together and are easily influenced by them in some ways.
As Christians, we must be wise in differentiating the fine line between the relationship we have with the people we minister to and those that we relate to as our inner-circle of friends. The purpose of the relationship we have with people we minister to is basically to serve our gifts from God to them. However, the relationship we have with our inner circle of friends is to relate to one another so that as iron sharpens iron, the relationship builds and empowers you to move forward to accomplish your goal or objective of something your want to achieve in life.
It is very important for us to use our freedom of choice to choose our inner-circle of friends wisely because relationship can make you or break you. There are no neutral relationships. Any relationship you have with anybody will either impact you or affect you. You have to know what kind of friends, you are spending time with or sharing your secrets with. You have to know if these kind of friends you spend time with are reliable or not. You also have to evaluate what you are getting out of this relationship. Is it helping you, empowering you to achieve your purpose in life or is it destroying your life in some way?
There are many people who are afraid to let go of some old friends and move on in life. Some people spend their entire life trying to please everyone and get lost, tired and stressed out. We have to understand the fact that in any relationship, you cannot please everyone. You must decide who to please and who not to please.
Most relationships are affected by situations in life. Bear in mind that the people who become your true friends at the peak moments of your life are not your friends but your fans. Fans are people who like you and follow you because of something that you do. Once someone does something better than you, your fans can leave you to follow them.
Sometimes, fans follow you not because of you but because of the cause or purpose that you serve. When you change your course to a different direction, they will leave you. That is simply because they were not following you but the cause that you served.
True friendship has to be tested in some situations in order for trust to be built. Some one who wants to be your friend has to earn your trust. You may have a lot of fans, but you must know who your true friends are.
In any relationship, whether it be in family, work, education, business or any others, you cannot succeed in some things without good relationship. In order for you to succeed, you have to let go of some friends that do not serve the same purpose as yours and stick with the friends that will contribute towards your purpose in life.
One sign that your relationship with a person is coming to an end is when the other person cannot accept a change in your status. If they can’t celebrate with you regarding something good that has happened to your life or even encourage you to move forward in life, you have to let go of them and move on. They could be a hindrance to your progress.
Sometimes the problem we have with relationship is not caused by you or your friend but the other parties involved in the life or affairs of either you or your friend. If you see a sign of that, you have to do something to cut the relationship off from the third party that is affecting your relationship with your friend. If you don’t do something, you will suffer the consequences; not them.
However, if you make a choice because you hate someone, I personally think that does not spring out from a good motive. The reason why you have to choose to please some and not everyone is because everyone thinks differently; so as you. You have to choose what is best for you or for the purpose that is important to you. If you choose something that is different from what others might choose, that does not make you their enemies. It is just a difference in opinions and selection of choices.
Here are 4 tips you may want to use to identify who your right friends should be.
- Someone who walks with you through the darkest moments of your life and celebrates with you in your successes.
- Someone who is willing to walk an extra mile with you.
- Someone who is willing to sacrifice something of value from his/her life to add value to your life.
- Someone who empowers you to succeed in life.
Since I gave you some tips in identifying who the right friends are, let me also give you 4 tips on identifying the wrong friends.
- Someone who isn’t reliable. Friends who depart from you during any tough situations that you encounter in life. Friends who gossip about you. Friends who cheat on you.
- Someone who tries to influence you into doing something that will destroy you.
- Someone who uses you for their own gain.
- Someone who shows signs of jealousy when something good happens to your life or when your status changes to another stage.
Some actions steps you want to take in your relationship.
- Identify your goal or purpose in life
- Identify the right friends and stick with them
- Do not give too much of you too soon. Relationship must take time to grow.
- Learn to appreciate the relationship you have with your inner-circle of friends. Create a reciprocity to encourage a healthy relationship. If someone gives you something, try to give something back in some way to support him/her. If one person is always giving while the other person is always receiving without giving anything as a token of appreciation, that is not a good relationship. Relationship becomes a burden if that attitude is prolonged.
If you have time you can try find a Bible and read the stories of the following people and learn something good and bad about the different relationships found in these stories.
- Samson and his girl friends – Judges 14 – 16.
- Ruth and Naomi – The book of Ruth.
- Rehoboam and his friends – 1 Kings 12:1-20.
- David and Johnathan – 1 Samuel 18:1-5; 20:1-42; 2 Sam 9:1-13.
- Jesus and his disciples – You can read and understand the whole story of Jesus’ relationship with his disciples better if you take time to read the entire chapters of the 4 books – Mathew, Mark. Luke and John.
I would like to conclude here with this quote from CS Lewis who said, “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”
Thank you for taking time to read this article. I hope it helped you in some way. Please do not forget to leave a comment below if you have any suggestions or thoughts regarding this article.