Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
See also: Help With our Relationships, Part 1
Maybe we had ideas of having a perfect wedding, a perfect honeymoon, come back to a perfect house, a perfect kitchen, and we’re going to raise perfect kids, and they’re going to go off to their perfect lives, and we’re going to sail off to a perfect retirement!
I’m sorry – it doesn’t work that way!
But life is not perfect, is it? And when our relationships aren’t perfect, and we get disappointed, the best thing we can do is to go to God with our disappointments.
People (no matter what we think of them) are imperfect. Only God is perfect! Only God can always be there for you. Only God will never fail you. So what do you do? You let Him meet the needs that only He can meet in your life. And you let Him give you the strength and the power to love in a way you’ve never loved before.
But what about those times when you don’t think or feel anything? When there is just apathy towards each other? You say “I couldn’t care less”. What do you do then?
Trust God With Your Feelings
When we don’t feel anything, remember that we have a God who can be trusted to restore those feelings.
Psalm 61:8, “Trust God all the time. Tell Him all your problems because God is our protection.”
There are times when the feeling is gone, and all you have left is the action. What do you do then? Well, the only way then for the feeling to be restored is to act in love. If you continue to act in love – as IF you love – eventually the feelings will come back.
Lamentations 5 says, “Turn us around and bring us back to You again. That is our only hope. Give us back the joys we used to have”.
That’s a verse about our relationship with God. Ask Him to bring back the joys you used to have in your relationship with Him. Once you’ve done that, ask Him to bring back the joys you used to have in your relationship with other people. Trust God with your feelings. No one is better than God at turning things around.
Then Ask God For His Direction
God is the one who invented relationships – whether it be marriage, families, friendships – yet sometimes we fail to ask the expert for advice when we most need it. He’s willing to give it.
James 1:5-8 (MSG), “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who ‘worry their prayers’ are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”
He will not resent your asking. But when you ask Him, be sure that you expect Him to answer. The key words here are “Ask Him!” How do we get through this problem? Ask Him. What should I say to my children in this situation? How do we get over this block in our friendship? Ask Him! Then note the phrase that follows – “And He will gladly tell you!”
The question we often ask is “How will God tell us His answer?” There are two usual ways in which God does that:
- You hear it through this book, the Bible. This book is filled with advice. Some of it may not be easy to take, but it is good advice, and we would do well to follow it.
- The next place you look for help is from other Christians, other people who are trying to follow His word for their lives. I’d look for people who already have some good relationships, a good track record, people who are trying humbly to say, “God, what do You want me to do in my relationships?”
Look To Jesus As Your Example
We need to Look to Jesus as our example. Why do we do that? Because at our core we all struggle with selfishness. All of us do. When we look to Jesus as our example – keeping our eyes firmly fixed on Him, then we will find an example and power that can help us begin to make unselfish choices. And that can create an incredible change in our lives.
Jesus came to live in this world so that you and I could have a relationship with Him here and now. And in our relationship with Him, we can have the power and strength to make at least one more unselfish choice which I might not otherwise make this coming week.
I heard a story this week about a couple of little boys – Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3 – who are sitting down to breakfast. Their mum is making them pancakes. She brings in the first pancake, and they both grab for it. The mum decides this is a great moment to teach them a moral lesson. She says, “If Jesus were here, He would give His brother the first pancake. Then He’d sit and wait patiently.” So Kevin looks at his little brother and says, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”
Isn’t that one of the great questions of life? Who’s going to be Jesus in your situation- in your relationship? Who is going to be the first to consider the other? Can you be the first to reach out in love and consideration? That’s what Jesus call us to do in all our relationships. You find the power to do that through your relationship with Him.
God, help us to be less selfish in our relationships. Help us to find in You the strength and the power to make unselfish choices. Help us, not only look to You as an example but to find in You somebody who loves us, who’s willing to forgive us, direct and guide us. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.