Wednesday, 05th May 2021
Philippians 2:4 – Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own”.
There’s an old proverb that says, “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”
Everything in our society conditions us to think of ourselves first. We don’t think about other people naturally. That’s something we have to learn to do. We naturally think about our needs, our desires, our goals, and our ambitions. As a result we have millions of people disconnected because they’re only thinking of themselves and not anyone else’s needs.
Let me share two very basic truths about life.
First, the world does not revolve around you:
You’re incredibly special in God’s eyes, and you were created for a purpose but the world does not revolve around you. If you want to know how much you’d be missed, stick your hand in a bucket of water and pull it out, and see what kind of hole you leave. It fills back up pretty quickly!
The second truth is this: God has promised that when you focus on meeting the needs of other people, He will meet your needs.
Why? Because He wants you to learn to be unselfish. He wants you to learn to be loving and generous like He is.
When we’re considerate of other people’s needs, we don’t expect them to be perfect. “Make allowance for each other’s faults” (Colossians 3:13).
Proverbs 17:9 says, “Love forgets mistakes”. When you are trying to make a connection with someone, you don’t have to remain blind to that person’s faults. You just choose to overlook them. Great friends are good forgetters. They are more concerned with the other person’s needs.
Tuesday, 04th May 2021
Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
God wants us to use our words to build others up.
Sometimes our words are like a sledgehammer. We swing away without thinking, and suddenly we look around and realise a relational mess surrounds us. When you thoughtlessly sling your words around and tear people down, your relationships are going to suffer.
One reason we’re not constructive with our words is we don’t realise how powerful our mouth is and the words that God has given to us. We say things without thinking. And people remember them.
You, too, can still remember certain things people said to you in a careless way even as far back as primary school or when you first started working. That’s how powerful words are. So when it comes to your mouth, think of it as a power tool and be extremely careful with it.
How can you use your mouth more carefully so you are using it to build relationships and not to tear people down?
1. Realise that what you say impacts everybody around you.
2. Talk less: We often get in trouble because we just don’t know when to shut up. If it’s a power tool, you shouldn’t use it that much.
3. Listen more: If you listen more, you can better understand people’s needs.
4. Start building: Let your first thoughts be, “What does that person need?” “How can I use a word of encouragement to build him up?” “What can I say to make a difference in his/her life?”
Consider making this part of your morning prayers: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
Monday, 03rd May 2021
Proverbs 18:24 – A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Good relationships don’t happen by accident. They take cultivation, work, and a lot of time. That requires commitment!
The Bible says in Proverbs 18:24, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”.
Did you know that your socialising can keep you from having deep relationships? You can be so busy networking, contacting, and making acquaintances that you never invest the time and energy and effort it takes to cultivate the deep, satisfying intimacy of a good friend or a good spouse.
It’s not wrong to have a lot of acquaintances, but they can keep you so busy that you don’t develop any vital, close relationships. You don’t necessarily need a lot of friends to make it in this world, but you do need a few good ones.
Focus on quality, not quantity. Your acquaintances, your hundreds of Facebook “friends” and Instagram followers aren’t necessarily going to be there when you need them. But the friends you are truly connected and committed to will be there.
Every important, close connection begins with a commitment. If you want to get beyond shallow, superficial relationships, you’ve got to be willing to stick with it.
HAVE A FRUITFUL WEEK
Sunday, 02nd May 2021
Proverbs 11:13 – A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
We tend to think of gossip as one of those “little” sins. But when God talks about gossip, He puts it on the list with things like sexual immorality and murder. Why? Because it is so destructive to relationships. Gossip can tear apart friendships, families, and churches.
Gossip is talking about a situation with somebody who is neither a part of the problem nor a part of the solution. If we’re honest, what we’re doing is making ourselves feel a little more important at somebody else’s expense. We’re talking about their hurts and their problems to make us feel like we’re morally superior to them. That’s the danger and the hurt of gossip.
Moses had a sister named Miriam who one day got caught up in gossiping about Moses among the rest of the people. God called them and rebuked Miriam and Aaron and right there on the spot, God gave her leprosy (Numbers 12).
Do you know what God did next? He invited Moses to pray for Miriam’s healing, the person she gossiped against.
Maybe you’ve been deeply hurt by gossip and things that have been said around the office or by the broken confidence of a friend or family member. Here’s what God says to you: “Pray for the person who gossiped against you so that you can be released from the hurt in your life.”
Or maybe you’ve been the one gossiping. This story is in the Old Testament to remind us how serious gossip is and how hurtful it can be to people, whatever side of it you’re on.
Keeping confidences enables you to connect to others in productive, healthy, and genuine ways.
Proverbs 11:13 says, “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret”. Are you the kind of person that keeps people’s confidences so they can trust you?
HAVE A GLORIOUS SUNDAY
Saturday, 01st May 2021
James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Since God thought up the whole idea of relationships between men and women, parents and children, and friends, doesn’t it make sense to go him for direction when you have a problem?
Why do we have to ask before He answers? Because our relationship with God begins with faith. He doesn’t force things on us. He invites us into a relationship with Him. So we ask.
Many times we fail to ask. If you’re like me, you’re just rushing through your day doing this, doing that, assuming it’s going to be okay. But you need to just stop once in a while and say, “God, what is your direction?” He will gladly tell you.
And how does He tell you? An answer will usually come through one of two main ways: through people that are following Him and through His Word. Get together with a few people who you know seek after God, and ask them for their opinion. And, turn to God’s Word. Ask Him, “God, what do you have to say about this?”
Some people think God is not interested in our relationships. After all, He’s got a universe to keep going. But He is interested. He made you!
I understand the hurts that can exist in some relationships, but the incredible promise of God’s Word is that He can bring beauty into any relationship.
Both people in the relationship have to agree, and it will take some struggle to get there. That’s why you have to go to God for direction and guidance.
A GLORIOUS NEW MONTH
Friday, 30th April 2021
Psalms 62:8 – Trust in God at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.
What do you do with the feelings that come from disappointment in a relationship? You can’t stuff them away, because they will just pop out somewhere else.
You need to trust God and tell Him all your problems because He is your refuge.
Tell Him you are angry or disappointed or that you feel nothing. In those times when you feel nothing, when you feel like you’ve lost the love, go to God and tell Him that and then trust Him. Hebrews 10:23 teaches us, “We can trust God to do what He promised”. And He promises to pour His love into our hearts.
Love is a feeling, but it is also an action. And when you lose the feeling to love someone, move forward with the action of loving them, and that will help you reclaim your feelings of love.
We all lose the feeling to love at sometime. It usually happens when we decide to live with a problem instead of talking it out or openly facing it. Start by telling God your feelings about the problem. From there, He can begin to give you the strength to talk to your loved one about it. As you do this, God will begin to restore your feeling of love for that person.
Whether you are a husband or a wife who needs to let go of a disappointment or misunderstanding or if you need to accept the differences you have with a close friend or a family member, I pray that God will begin to bring back your joy.
But it’s a process, and it begins when you decide to trust God and tell Him your feelings and when you choose to carry on with the action of love even when you’ve lost the feeling of love.