"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
Ponder: People can provide places of joy and comfort, fun and a place to share life. What a gift from God! Mostly! What/who is flowing through these people can make all the difference. You might think this is an interesting thing to say. What/who is flowing through you? If you meet up with people to meet every one of your needs, or to meet every one of their needs, you will be sorely disappointed. Broken people cannot be perfect need providers. This brings us to that beautiful verse in 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4: "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
The source and basis of our relationship with others is our relationship with God, our Father and Jesus. As we flow all of our life through Him, even those more tricky relationships can seem slightly less burdensome. I think this is because we will learn in Jesus to let go of the expectation of others to meet our needs in their brokenness . Also, letting go of our own expectations to meet others' needs in our own brokenness.
Action: Can you begin to hear the lie in here?
The lie that other's can meet your every need and that you can meet their's. This is a lie to be let go of as you spend time in Jesus' presence. This lie can be a really subtle burden because it looks like you are being a really "good Christian." or a really "good person." The questions that we need to ask when we interact with others are: (I have failed so often in this) "Lord, what is it you want me to know about this relationship? What is my responsibility here? How can I give to this person freely? How can I receive from this person freely? with a pure motivation, flowing in you. Not saying this is easy. This is a heart issue, different for each one of us.
Prayer: Lord, we are pondering today things that are just such a part of me, please clean up my heart motivations and expectations so that I can relate freely with others. I want to be your servant, with you flowing through me, not trapped in any way. Amen
Challenge: Ponder this passage, noting where you struggle in your relationships. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
This is the gift we give others not because we need anything from them or they need anything from us. We can only do this in Christ! What can you place in your life today to grow closer to Him?