Worship, personal transformation, relationships, Next generations and Mission.
These are the Wheatland values. These are not items we ascribe to but live into every day. We’ve focused on these values for years. Each week you can experience what it means to be part of a church that takes them seriously. Sunday we focus on relationships.
Take a moment to think about the most important relationships of your life: Jesus, spouse, children, family, colleagues, friends…enemies. Are there any new relationships that bring some added energy to your life? Maybe you’re attending a new small group at church and you were introduced to someone new or a gym membership got you swimming again and you met someone that’s a lot like you! I’ve included a quick resource for you in today’s blog. Use these questions as a check-in:
1. How much time or effort do you put into building better relationships with others? (Jesus, spouse, children, family, co-workers and colleagues, friends, enemies)
2. Which skills have you worked on lately: listening without judgment, expressing love and positive emotions, having fun, doing more than your share when they’re stressed, boosting their self-esteem, soothing your own irritability.
3. Do the people that you’re in relationship know you care—that you actually care about them more than yourself? How do you express to them that you care?
4. What’s the greatest source of stress right now and how is it effecting your relationships? (Money, job, busy schedule, work load, age-related issues, health issues, parent or child issues)
5. Connection is key. You can believe you’re doing all the work in the relationship but if it’s not reciprocated and things are not good, look at yourself first. Don’t blame them for what’s going on in your head. Trust me—no one knows what’s actually going on inside your heart or mind. You must speak and communicate in such a way that the others in your life hear you without guilt or shame.
Most of us carry a lot of baggage when it comes to relationships. We all carry damage and good stuff from our families of origin. We inherit behaviors that were passed down from generation to generation. Some of those behaviors need to be addressed and transformed—and you know it. We’ve said and done things we are not proud of—others have said and done things they are not proud of, too. I like to think about whatever situation I am in as a test. Good days won’t last. Enjoy every second! Bad days won’t last. Thank GOD!! But, most of us live somewhere in-between and we tend to remember the ‘out of ordinary’ experiences or situations. Consider this: what is the ratio between the normal, mundane, daily routine experiences to the out of the ordinary experiences? Is the ratio 100:1? So someone treats you normally 100 times but it’s the 1 time you remember? hmm...
Building Trust through Honesty
Conflict is actually a healthy sign in a relationship. I remember a newly wed couple who came to see me. Both of them were devastated because they fought and couldn’t make up afterwards. “He said!” “She did..!” “This isn’t the person I married!” “I think we made a mistake.” Maybe you’ve heard or thought that same thing. Discovering forgiveness and reconciliation means there is intimacy and trust developing. Relationships are hard work! The work is worth every cross word or silent treatment. It’s worth healing and making up every time. Resiliency is the greatest reward for any relationship because it measures the elasticity of your relationships. Are you bendy? Or are you stiff? Are you humble or stubborn? Are you like Jesus or more like…you? Be honest with your own stuff and don’t project it onto someone else. Honesty with yourself builds trust but you have to begin by being honest every time. Blaming someone else won’t work—it never does. Take responsibility for you own stuff.
We cannot take any THING with us. But, relationships have eternal significance and value. Eternity is the reality. It may be tempting to think of you being in heaven and the jerk in your life being in hell. But, wake up. That’s not God honoring and certainly not what the bible says—oh, the BIBLE? Loving enemies, praying for those who persecute you, being committed to the relationship—look it up. You’ll be glad you did. Henry Cloud is a Christian psychologist. He and John Townsend worked together for years. They produced some of the best relationship stuff for Christians I have ever seen. They wrote the book, (actually a library of books) on boundaries. We will spend some time in September working on boundaries. YES, boundaries. Many of you responded to our survey and said you are overwhelmed or too busy—but then said you had no problem with boundaries….HA! Let’s have some fun together. Laugh and learn together. Grow and mature together. See you Sunday.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 NIV
Pastor Jen Wilson