When it comes to any of our 'relationships' with others (any friendships, siblings, colleagues you kind-of-don't-want-to-but-kind-of-have-to be sat next to, marriage, parents), there's a simple acid-test we should be checking. Ready? Here it is: 'Am I going in the right direction?' Nice sat-navving, but what does that mean for navigating a world populated with friends and strangers? Well, all our thoughts, plans and decisions are either heading in our own direction, or away from ourselves and to God's direction. And God's direction is always towards the wellbeing of the other person. Guess it's kind of obvious.
We all have relationships we wish we could handle better: what about when they just keep getting it wrong, and we have to get all defensive? Or when they're so full of gossip that's it's impossible not to join in (and maybe backchat about them too)? Or when both people have messed up, but the easiest thing to do is just pass the blame on? Hmm.
When we take the trouble to bring about the best for the other person, and not to focus on their problems or mistakes, we're doing it right. Joseph Phillips said, 'Any idiot can point out sin. It takes "eyes that see" to see the rhythms of grace at work in a person.'
So what now? Think about those relationships that need fine-tuning or a better perspective - look past the hindrances to the grace that God has extended into those people and your relationship with them.
Soulfood : Josh 19:24-21:45, Lk 20:20-26, Ps 112, Prov 23:13-15