What happened to the last 5 years? I was rather fond of 2006. I was also fond of 2007, 8, 9 and 10. My favorite part of the last 5 years is how I have grown spiritually.
How about you? Are you to closer God than you were 5 years ago? How much better are your relationships with other Christians then they were 5 years ago?
A connection really does exist between your relationships with other Christians and your relationship with God. The more you love God, the more you must love other Christians. You cannot love God without loving them.
We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1 John 4:19-20
Have you ever wished people would love you more? Maybe they do, but you just don’t realize it. The closer you move to God, the more you will see God’s love shining through other Christians to you, and the more your love for them and God will shine through you.
I used to try to figure out if someone liked me by analyzing every word they said. It used to really be important to me. After I talked to someone, I would go home and replay the conversation over and over in my head. I wondered if I had given the right answers. If they had slighted me, I would wonder if it had been intentional. Do you do that?
You know what I figured out? Sometimes the folks that I thought didn’t like me really did like me. Sometimes the folks that I liked the most really didn’t like me at all. It really is a waste of time to try to figure it out.
What if someone were to tell you what is expected from you? People-pleasing is a dead-end road. It’s a path away from Christ. Your beliefs will drift, and so will your behavior. God put you here to live your life. He did not put you here to be someone else’s puppet.
Consider what Paul wrote:
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
If you want to have better relationships, don’t base whether or not you love someone on whether or not they love you. Instead of trying to figure it out, change their minds, or win their approval, stick to your faith and just love them anyway.
Today’s challenge is to overlook the slights of others. Their small transgressions, although they may seem lofty at the moment, may not really be all that important in the scheme of things. Forgiveness is scriptural, and you really will be a lot happier if you don’t dwell on the small stuff.
As you spend time interacting with others, try not to guess whether or not you have pleased them. Instead, look for the love of Jesus shining in your fellow Christians! As you see it, you will grow closer to God, and your love for them and for God will increase!