Sunday, December 12, 2010

Challenge Week 4: Relationships

Last Week
I know these weeks are flying by and getting so busy, but I hope you have a chance to sit down and read these little blog posts about being intentional, so that even though we're busy, we are still focusing on those important areas of our lives. With packing, moving, houseguests for the next 2 weeks, and 2 kids in a small apartment with lots of energy, it's been crazy around here!! Not to mention all the Christmas things I'm trying to get done on top of it all!! But it's been good to try to remember to pray for my kids. To try to spend extra special time with them. To show them that I love them and care for them. I know I haven't been doing enough lately, and it's tough with all we have to do right now, but let's all remember that they are little people with feelings, and they know when we are "too busy for them."
This Week
The next area I want us to be intentional about is the area of relationships with others. We were made to live in community with one another, to bear with one another, and forgive one another. We were made to work together with our different gifts, to build each other up, and to be united as we all work towards the kingdom of God. It all sounds so beautiful, but our world of relationships can get so ugly. All the nit and grit, all the feelings that are left undealt with, the scars, memories of injustices done to us, and the list goes on. It's tough. None of us is immune from people we just plain don't get along with, or family we can't get away from, or people who rub us the wrong way. Or even people who try to abuse us, to ignore us, to make us feel "less than." I'm reminded again this week of the injustices in this world, the situations I forget that people are going through, and how much we can't control.
But God encourages us!!! He gives us promises and truths to hold onto, His Word will never fail us, and we must keep our eyes on Him as we work through these hurdles, lay ourselves on the line, bear our hearts to Him, and let Him work in us a spirit of servanthood and forgiveness.

Live in harmony with one another.
Romans 12:16a

Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
Romans 14:13

Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Romans 15:2

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

There are so many verses on how we should relate to each other so that we can honor God and be refined by our relationships. Pick a verse and memorize it, repeating it to yourself throughout the week as you encounter people, especially those who may get on your nerves or aren't the easiest to be around (even if it's your husband!!!)

We all probably have at least one relationship that could use a little (who are we kidding, a lot!) of work. Maybe it's a broken relationship that needs forgiveness. Maybe it's someone you are around all the time, but you don't speak kindly to them. Maybe it's someone that you don't treat very nice, and can change how you interact with them. My challenge is that you pick just one person and take a step towards healing. Pray over the verse you have chosen to memorize and put the person's name in the verse. Such as, "Bear with _____ and forgive whatever grievances you may have against _____ . Forgive _____ as the Lord forgave you." (Colossians 3:13) This week, work through the issues you have with someone. Don't put it off, leaving your ill feelings to take root and grow into bitterness, anger, and sin. Don't let Satan get that foothold. It's gone on long enough. It's time to deal with it now.
Get on your knees. Spend your time with God today dealing with one relationship. Heal it. Make a phonecall. Write an email. Forgive them. Forgiveness is a conscious choice, not an emotional feeling. It is hard. You might not feel like it. But with God's help, we can choose to forgive, and continually give it over to God for healing. I would recommend you to read Choosing Forgiveness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss if you would like some further reading on forgiveness. It is an excellent read.
This is a great time of year to start the healing process. A time where we will see and be around family that we might not otherwise see. People we might choose not to see the rest of the year. We might go home and see friends who might not be as much a part of our lives anymore. There might be buried feelings. Don't let this time pass by without intentionally making one of those relationships right. Satan has a way of lying to us by getting us to subconsciously put off dealing with our feelings and grudges. By the time we realize it, we have unresolved anger, hatred, or grudges that can go on for years. It's ugly. Don't even wait to make it a New Year's Resolution. Do it this week!

So, here's a recap of this week's challenge:
  1. Memorize a verse to challenge you in the area of relationships.
  2. Begin the healing process with one person this week.
  3. Pray over your verse and insert their name.
  4. Take action! Pray for them daily, contact them, resolve forgiveness in your heart.
If you have just jumped on the Being Intentional Challenge, here are the links to the first 3 weeks of challenges!!
Week 1: Our relationship with God
Week 2: Our marriages
Week 3: Parenting

As always, I'd love to hear from anyone who is reading, participating, or just popped by the site!! Leave a comment, or email me at!

Join me next week for Challenge #5: Organization of our homes!!

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