I learned that you can become better thru trials and conflicts.
I learned that faith in God and seeking His Will lets you hear His voice and know His Will.
I learned that God answers our every need thru His Word.
Special thanks to Tom Holladay’s book, ‘Relationship Principles of Jesus’.
I wouldn’t want to lengthen this entry on how I came to the realizations of these 3 things for we both know they are self-explanatory. Not to mention that you may also know these already. Just take it as a reminder.
Relationships play a big role in our lives. God has not placed just one or two people for you to come into terms or relations with. More likely, you have numerous; varying in personalities, sizes, colors and shapes. We choose whom to spend most time with and whom to ignore. Today, I encourage you to examine yours.
Jesus called us to love others as He has loved us. An order that I don’t think any of us can ever meet. But by God’s grace, strength and example, by faith I am trying. You should too. Mr. Holladay suggested 2 ways in order to do this:
1. Choose to Fellowship
My personal definition of fellowship is a gathering of 2 or more people in mutual consent and benefit; that is pleasing to God.
You and your girlfriend hang-out in a coffee shop, enjoy wonderful conversations and then you go home having built your friendship with her. For me, it’s as simple as that. Sisters being close friends. Brothers being best friends.
But if you’re like me, who has encountered betrayals, hurts from relationships; many times, frequent fellowships don’t appeal as much especially if the one who has hurt you is present. But Jesus chose to fellowship even if He knew these people will cry ‘Crucify Him’ during the hardest point in His life.
Jesus chose fellowship to the crowd and to his intimate friends because in His fellowship with His father, He knows that He came to serve and not to be served.
Many times, we go to fellowship thinking, “I want to learn something today”. Thus, tendency is when you don’t feel like going, then you won’t. Don’t miss the point! We go to work/class, gimmicks, Bible Studies not only to learn but to share or bless others. Jesus uses fellowship as an opportunity to impact other people’s lives and give God glory. So should we.
2. Choose to Forgive
Another huge impediment in our relationships today is unforgiveness. Many of us think that not forgiving someone punishes that person from the great fact of having us as a friend. We ignore them and let them live in guilt whenever we cross paths; thinking that one day, he/she will humble him/herself and apologize.
Little that we know, that after a period of time, this person would stop caring. This person may even start to forget the details as to why you got mad at him or her. This person may have also gained a friend that he or she enjoys having compared to you.
So whose loss is it?
Your heart has turned dark and bitter. Memories of the past still lingers and you get hurt all over again. Soon, you realize you have disconnected yourself from things you used to enjoy.
In 1 John 1: 9, it says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I am reminded of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. A story of a loving father who chose to fellowship and forgive his son. Luke 15:11-32.
Even after his son dishonored him by claiming his share while the father still lives. And then squandered off all his money, he still from afar embraced, welcomed and forgave his son.
Let us learn from our Father in heaven. If He can forgive you and me, who are we not to?