Spirit-Led Relationships

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Much of life revolves around relationships, yet this is one area that many of us struggle with the most. For a host of reasons, we fail to be intentional, but it’s never too late to start. Here are some guiding principles to keep in mind as we strive to repair or grow deeper, more meaningful relationships this year.

We should start by nurturing our existing relationships, like close friends and family. Look for chances to show your love and affection by genuinely investing your time, attention, and energy into these people (Romans 12:9–10). Don’t put it off until there’s a problem.

Many of the strongest relationships are those that have been fractured but allowed to heal. Choosing to forgive, or allowing yourself to be forgiven, isn’t always easy. When we lean on our faith, the Holy Spirit will give us the strength and guidance we need. If you’re in a broken relationship that you’d like to restore, do it today. The pain of an unresolved hurt is far greater than the discomfort required to resolve it (Matthew 18:15).

The people we surround ourselves with largely determine our success or failure. They impact our decisions and influence how we treat others. With these points in mind, it’s a good idea to evaluate your circle of friends. Do negative influences surround you? Do you have friends that are unhealthy, unwise, or even unholy? If you do and these people aren’t willing to grow and develop with you, then they’re holding you back, and you should consider kindly and gracefully stepping away from their presence (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Some of the best relationships are still out there, waiting to be discovered. Don’t let a past hurt, fear of rejection, or shyness get in the way of stepping out and connecting with others. If you need strength, you can find it in Christ (Philippians 4:13). Any doubts you might be holding onto have been put there by Satan himself, who wants you to be alone. God’s plans for you include being strengthened and uplifted in community with others—every day (Jeremiah 29:11).

What are some potential meaningful relationships that you may not be experiencing? Have you found roots in a local church? Do you belong to a small group? Most importantly, do you have a relationship with Christ? 


Today’s author: Husband, father, and founder of The Inspired Legacy, Mark Henderson.

Seeing Through Love-Colored Glasses

“But if you are lead by the Spirit, you are not under the Law?” (Gal. 5:18, NASB)

Have you ever heard someone say, “She just sees through rose colored glasses!”?

This idiom expresses that a person sees things as better than they actually are.

Interestingly, the Bible says that how we live has everything to do with how we see.

The truth is, by nature, and from Heaven’s perspective, you and I are blind. This means that every one of us is in need of a guide.

Galatians 5 tells us that humans have two guides available to them: the Law and the Spirit.

It almost goes without saying, but that which guides us determines the fruit we bear.

LIFE BY THE LAW

You and I were literally created for perfect love. Because we were created for it, we crave and seek it. But because we were born into darkness, we need help finding it… finding him.

When rules and regulations (Law) act as our guide to Love (to God), we focus on how well we’re performing. When we follow law, our tendency is to translate performance into a means to ascertain love. We think love is a result, not a cause:

  • We compare ourselves because we think that better performance results in greater love.
  • We judge because someone else’s performance doesn’t seem as love-worthy as ours.
  • We’re jealous because we think someone else has achieved more love than us.
  • We hate because we think our performance should have gained us more love.
  • We covet because we think that someone else is more loved based on what they have.
  • We lust because we want to feel wanted… which is the same as wanting love.
  • We compete because we think that love is a result, not a cause.

LIFE BY THE SPIRIT

Because we see love as a result, we tend to think God does too.

We think that based on our behavior God would, could, and/or should stop loving us. Or we think God loves us in spite of our behavior, even concluding that for this reason his love is great. But in both cases, we see his love as it relates to behavior. We see his love through the lens of Law.

But God’s love has zero connection to Law. It is completely other than law.

This is why we need a new guide to walk by. We need new eyes to see for us in this darkness. To guide us to life with and in God. To guide us to the Love we were created for.

This is why we need the Spirit.

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

The truth is, God loves us perfectly because we’re his counter-part. Humans were created to fit together with God. We’re loved because of what we are, not because of what we do. Simply by being born human, we are chosen and loved with perfect love. (Rom. 8:16-17)

The Holy Spirit’s job is to guide us into this truth. To guide us to the love we were created for and crave. (John 16:13)

The fruit of the Spirit, then, is the result of this guidance. It’s the natural by-product of having discovered what our hearts were created for. It’s not a call or a standard or a rule to live by. It’s what happens naturally as the result of living loved… as a result of abiding in his love. (John 15:4,5,8,9)

We naturally love, have profound joy, unfathomable peace, inexplainable patience (and so on) when we know and believe we’re loved perfectly. (Gal. 5:22-23, 1 John 4:16)

From Heaven’s perspective, love is cause, fruit is effect. Never the other way around.

CONCLUSION

So today, friend, would you see life through the Holy Spirit’s testimony that you are perfectly loved by God? Would you ask God—over and over again—to reform your thinking and expose his perfect love in every circumstance and facet of life?

See, our pursuit of love as a result clouds more of our life than we realize. You and I need the Holy Spirit, time and again, to disperse that cloud, so that light can shine on what is already ours… So that perfect Love can finally cause his effect in our lives.

KATIE MOON is a Biblical researcher, writer, teacher/speaker, and founder of a non-profit online ministry called In Black and Light. Follow Katie’s journey and ministry on Instagram today.

How To Grow A Vibrant Spiritual Life

I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

Proverbs 24:30–34 ESV

I’ve always thought about today’s passage in an external sense, rather than about the spiritual life. After all, that’s how it presents itself.

The lazy person reaps ruin while the diligent can expect a healthy harvest.

Simple. Makes sense. It’s a good challenge to keep me working hard and ensure I don’t let myself slack off.

But what if we consider this sowing-and-reaping principle in terms of our spiritual life? Specifically in our relationship with God.

We might not all live in castles or own vineyards, but we do all have the most valuable possession in the world: a human heart, soul, and spiritual life that needs tending.

Which scene resembles your inner quality of life in the following ways:

    1. Your spiritual life and relationship with the Lord,
    2. and your relationship with yourself?

If you’re like me, it’s probably a mix of the two.

Read moreHow To Grow A Vibrant Spiritual Life