Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsSaturday 13 Feb 2021Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 3 minutes
There’s nothing more soul destroying than relationships that are damaged. You know, when a friendship of many years has broken, and two people refuse to speak to one another.
Like in church where families haven’t talked to each other for generations. The feud goes on and on. Because we live and mix with others, there is every likelihood a relationship will be strained or even fractured and then how should it be fixed? It’s an intriguing question I believe. It affects all of us from time to time, even in the best-run family.
Here’s the problem. It’s easy to get disconnected in relationships. Would you agree with that? It’s very easy to get disconnected from your children, your parents, your brothers and sisters, friends, family, husband and wife.
What destroys relationships and how do you rebuild?
It’s a fact; you’re going to have differences in your relationships.
It’s a fact; you’re going to have differences in your relationships. God likes variety. He could have made us all alike. He could have made us all with the same opinions, the same background, the same interest, the same personality, but he didn’t.
Unfortunately, we’re not taught how to have healthy relationships. I’m sure you never had a class growing up in school on how to have a good relationship, and yet that’s the essential thing in life. It’s far more important than anything else. And I doubt even your parents taught you how to have good relationships. They may have not even known themselves.
I believe that every relational problem comes down to at least two negative attitudes: selfishness and pride.
Selfishness destroys relationships. This is the number one enemy. It is the number one cause of conflict or arguments—and usually the number one cause of divorce. It is the number one cause of war. In the Bible James says this, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you. You desire but do not have…” (James 4:1-2 – NIV)
It’s very easy for selfishness to creep into a relationship. We know that selfishness destroys a relationship. So why don’t we change, or better yet, why can’t we change? Why can’t we be more unselfish?
There are a couple of reasons. First, it is human nature to be selfish. I don’t think about you most of the time. I think about me, my needs, my interests, my hurts. How do I look? How do I feel? Who’s hurt me? And you don’t think about me, you think about yourself more than anybody else. You think about yourself all the time.
Being selfish is natural. When babies start talking, their first words are ‘I’, ‘Me’ and they demand total attention. They don’t give anything back. They are entirely selfish creatures. It’s human nature.
Our culture and everything in it feeds our self-centredness. Do you realise that every advertisement that comes out caters to your self-centredness? It’s things like, Have it your way; We do it all for you. It’s all about you. I’ve got to think about what’s best for me. Live for yourself, regardless of what it does to everybody else.
If selfishness destroys relationships, then selflessness builds them.
Selflessness builds relationships. Now, what does selflessness mean? It means a little bit less of me, and a little bit more of you. It says I think a little bit less of myself, and I think a little bit more of you. That is being selfless. I’m not the whole centre of the universe. I’m thinking about other people.
Selflessness brings out the best in others. It builds relationships.
Philippians 2:4 in the Bible says this, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.”
That’s selflessness. Selflessness brings out the best in others. It builds relationships.
In fact, if you start acting selflessly in a relationship, it forces the other person to change because you’re not the same person anymore, and they have to relate to you differently. So selflessness not only transforms a relationship, but it also transforms that person.
(To be continued in How to Repair Relationships – Part 2)