He Loves Me!
This devotional is a series of excerpts from Wayne Jacobsen's life changing book, He Loves Me! Download a PDF of this book by clicking the link below.
Day 52: Healthy Relationships
You will soon find that your security in God's love and your awareness of his unlimited patience with you will redefine the other relationships in your life.
Instead of demanding that others conform to what you think is right, you will find yourself letting others have their own journey. By no longer manipulating them to what you think is best you can allow them the same freedom God gives you. You will let them choose their own course based on nothing but the clarity of truth as they understand it and the willingness of their conscience. It is the task of the Holy Spirit to convict, not yours.
Instead of despising people who are broken by sin you will be touched by the depth of bondage that holds them captive. You will also see better how the Father is responding to them and then know how you can as well. Sometimes that means you'll stand back and let the consequences of sin take their course as the father did with his prodigal son. At other times it means you'll jump into the mess with them and help them find God's way out.
Instead of saying what you think people want to hear, you'll look for ways to be gently honest with them. Human love seeks people's comfort at the expense of truth. God's love seeks people's comfort in the midst of truth. He doesn't avoid the difficult moment or hold his peace just to be nice. As you experience that in your own relationship with him you'll find yourself unable to be disingenuous with people.
Finally, by looking to God as the resource for your needs you will find yourself not overloading your friendships with expectations that are easily disappointed. By vesting all of our hope in God's ability to meet our needs we will not need to force our friends to do it. I know God will often use other believers to extend his gifts and graces to me, but now I also know I don't get to choose the vessel he uses. In other words, I always look for how God is revealing himself to me through other believers, but I don't trick myself into thinking it has to come from a specific person I want him to use.
Disappointed expectations destroy relationships because we look to others in ways God wants us to look to him. Such expectations set us up for enduring frustration. However, when we give up our expectations of people, we'll find God using some of the most unlikely people to lend us a hand. Our frustration will yield to gratefulness at however, whenever and through whomever God uses others to touch us or us to touch others.