Wow! You know something... relationships have been in my mind a lot lately... And yes, there are some things that have been troubling me, though I try to stay upbeat and not show it.
Reading this article written by Shirley B from CHCKL was refreshing to me, and funnily enough, the tension that I've been feeling thru my shoulders up to my head eased after I read it and made some decisions about the way I've been handling some relationships.
"A special feature article written for CHCKL BULLETIN Feb 26-27, 2011.
Over the past 10 years of being in the Pastoral ministry, I realize that one of the best ways to impact lives is by investing our time and energy to build meaningful relationships with people around us. I’ve learnt that being ‘relational’ doesn't mean you’re building meaningful relationship’.
Very often we become too occupied with tasks, events and even our ‘ministries’ and neglect building genuine relationships with the people around us. Thus, though many are still actively serving and striving for achievements, they are actually suffering silently from loneliness and rejection behind their masks of busyness.
Nobody is meant to be a loner, especially when you’re in this cool church! ☺
Here are 10 things I’ve learnt in my life that I’m trying my best to apply daily:
1. Learn To Communicate With Openness
A ‘Relationship breakdown’ is usually due to the lack of communication and too much of assumptions. Openness is one of the keys to build meaningful relationship. Learn to share your heart openly and communicate your thoughts in order to clarify, connect (understand) and then only conclude a matter.
2. Say No to Gossip!
Very often a ‘get-together’ or ‘hangout’ session can easily turn into a gossip party. We gotta be watchful of this deadly habit! If you really have to discuss about someone else (where most of the time is none-of-your-business), be sure your discussion is out of love and provides solutions for him/her to be a better person!
3. Cease to Judge Or Criticize
There are too many judges around us! Everyone likes to play ‘judge’, but only God is our judge, so let the others be silent. Judgment and criticism are simply seeing yourself as superior. Stop judging and learn to put grace on your lips by praising and encouraging others!
4. Don't Be Jealous, Be Zealous!
Jealousy can burn down a house. It destroys beautiful relationships. Guard your heart and do not allow comparison, competition and jealousy to creep into your life and caus you to turn into a selfish beast. Learn to celebrate joys and successes with others! Be zealous in love.
5. Let’s Be Real. Nobody likes a ‘fake’.
If everyone is relating to each other behind a mask, then all relationships are superficial. No wonder there are so many lonely souls out there! Let’s be real to each other. If they can’t accept you for who you really are, then what’s the point of having them in your life anyway? Take off your mask today!
6. Kick Out The ‘Offenses’
Keeping offenses in your heart is like having a bullet in your soul. Let me warn you that keeping offenses is highly destructive. It can even destroy a strong relationship if it is not dealt with soon enough. The way to remove offenses is to forgive as Christ has forgiven you. Remember, it is a choice!
7. They are not YOU, you are not THEM
Never impose your standards on others. You are not God. Have you met people where only their standards are ‘THE’ standards? It’s stressful hanging out with such people. We can’t expect everyone to like what we like because everyone is unique! We should celebrate diversity and appreciate uniqueness. If you think this is cool and they don't think so, love them anyway! ☺
8. Walk The Talk – Show Love and Empathy!
Yes! “Show” it with actions and not just your words. The best sermons preached are those sermons applied. Talk is cheap… living it may cost you everything. Let’s not become too mechanical in the way we care and love others. Let’s be human! Learn to empathize with them and you will win them over because there are indeed not many who ‘truly care’.
9. Putting Others First!
Has anyone told you yet? You’re NOT the center of the universe! Therefore, don't just think about yourself all the time. Abstain from the selfishness that dresses itself in many disguises. If you can start dying to yourself, you can then start living for others. Learn to esteem others better than yourself!
10. I Believe In You!
Believing in people is a great way to build meaningful relationship. I don't believe in building relationship by just ‘scratching the surface’. Go into that person’s life and minister to him/her is the best way to get connected. Don't condemn anyone. Learn to believe in people (with wisdom and discernment), you will win many friends.
Remember, success is not determined by how much money and fame you possess but by the fruits of meaningful relationships you’ve cultivated. The rich and famous may one day still die a lonely man.
So, let’s cultivate fresh love in our hearts and work on our relationships with one another. We are only as strong as our weakest link!
Why don't you make it your aim this year to restore broken relationships & start building meaningful relationships!
Love God, Love people, Love life!