How to Repair Relationships - Part 2 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

How to Repair Relationships – Part 2 — Morning Devotions

A spirit of pride—always judgemental, over-competitive—can also destroy relationships. Humility builds them up.

By Chris WittsSunday 10 Mar 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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In Part 1, I said that broken relationships are often the result of selfishness. How do you actually rebuild the relations? We’ve got to really get on with people. The Bible says in Philippians 2:4, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.”

I think that God’s favourite place to teach you selflessness is in:

  • your family
  • with your friends.

Because those are the people, who get closest to you. It’s easy to be selfless in a crowd. It’s when you’re in a relationship with other people that you have the give and take of learning to get along with people who are different from you—different personalities and backgrounds. That’s where you have to learn to be selfless.

The Gift of Listening

One unique way we can demonstrate selflessness in our relationships is listening to people.

Do you know that listening is one of the greatest gifts you can give others? Because you’re giving them your time. It’s far more important than your money. You can always get more money, but you only have a certain amount of time in life. So when you give somebody your attention, and you give them your ear, you are giving them a part of your life. And that is selfless.

David Augsburger said, “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.” We want to be listened to. Unfortunately, not many of us are not good listeners.

Here are some helpful tips on how to really listen to people:

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  1. Give the speaker your full attention (don’t be thinking about your rebuttal).
  2. Step into the speaker’s shoes (feel what they are feeling; then get back out).
  3. Avoid judging or interpreting.
  4. Reflect back as accurately as you can what you heard them say.
  5. When you think they are done ask, Is there more?
  6. When they are done ask, Of everything you have shared, what is the most important thing you want me to remember?

Selfishness destroys relationships but selflessness builds them!

Pride—Destroyer of Relationships

Here’s the second thing that destroys relationships: Pride. Pride destroys relationships.

In Proverbs 13:10 (WEB), it says this, “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is with people who take advice.”

Now pride shows up in a lot of different ways: It shows up first in criticism. If you are critical, judgmental, a picky perfectionist you have a pride problem. That’s the reason you are critical: you have a pride problem.

Also if you tend to be competitive and always comparing—have you ever said, Oh, look at her dress, compared to my dress, or Look at his car compared to my car? Maybe you’re always comparing salaries, husbands, or children. You know what? You have a pride problem. That comparing spirit—of always looking at everybody else and comparing and judging—that is a pride problem.

If you find it difficult to say, I’m sorry or you cannot ever admit it when you’re wrong, you have a pride problem.

What does pride look like in relationships? Well, one of the ways it looks is when you always have to tell a story that tops the last story. When you are always offering advice, and you never ask for it. When you never admit when you’ve had a tough week, and everybody else is saying, Yeah I’ve had a tough week. And you never admit any problem in your life.

The problem with pride is it’s self-deceiving. Everybody else can see it but we can’t.

When I’m full of pride, I can’t see it in my life. Everybody else can see it but I can’t. It’s self-deceiving. Everybody else can see you’re prideful, but you can’t see it yourself. So the Bible says this in Proverbs 16:18 (WEB), “Pride goes before destruction, an arrogant spirit before a fall.”

I love how The Message paraphrase puts this verse: “First pride then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall”.

Pride keeps us from apologising, and that destroys relationships because we hurt each other. So what’s the antidote?

Humility—Builder of Relationships

The antidote to pride is humility. Humility builds relationships. We read in 1 Peter 3:8 (ISV):

Finally, all of you must live in harmony, be sympathetic, love as brothers, and be compassionate and humble.”

This is a pretty good model for all our relationships. If you take a look at these five things, it’s what we all want to be doing in our families, groups and relationships. We want to live in harmony and be sympathetic, love each other. We want to have compassion and be humble.

Live in harmony with one another—that’s what God wants in relationships.

Live in harmony with one another—that’s what God wants in relationships. God doesn’t want this unison where we’re all the same. He wants the harmony of us all being different. Harmony and humility go together. You have to have them together.

In a symphony, the beauty isn’t all the different instruments. But if you have one flute player who wants to stand on their chair and play louder than everybody else, it ruins the whole thing. If you have one person who’s saying, Notice me and I can’t let other people be noticed, it ruins all the joy of the harmony of life, the deepness, the richness that God wants to give to our lives because of that.

How are you and I going to grow in humility? That’s a difficult one. How does that happen in our lives? It happens by letting Jesus Christ begin to control our thoughts and hearts and attitudes and reactions. He has got to be a part of this.