Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
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.