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Relationships

August 10th, 2011

“Love cares more for others than for self.” 1 Corinthians 13:4 The Message

“’Me first,’ is not an attitude that wears well on others!”

My thoughts today are about “relationships.”

Relationships are built on a variety of things, from something as simple as mere proximity to mutual well-being, and everything in between. Mutuality is one of the major factors of enduring friendships. If it’s not good for all, it will not long be good for one. If one person wants or needs the relationship more than the other, there will soon be a tension that develops. If one person puts more expectations or demands on a relationship than the other is comfortable with, the connection will not be mutually satisfying.

Ever wonder what makes friendships complicated and any relationship challenging? Various things contribute to the challenge; selfishness being at the top. Unselfishness is an important dynamic in meaningful relationships. Unselfishness reduces expectations which otherwise would become demands; it does not eliminate expectations, but restrains them within reasonable and mutually acceptable bounds.

“Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others too, and what they are doing.” Philippians 2:3-4 NLT. You do not need to think less of yourself than is accurate. “Do not think of yourself more highly than you should (think of yourself). Instead, be modest in your thinking (of yourself).” Romans 12:3 TEV. You should elevate your evaluation of others.

Remember the elder brother in the story Jesus told about a prodigal? See Luke 15:25-31 NIV. An author accurately portrayed the older brother this way, “He wanted the privileges of being a son, but not the obligations of being a brother.” That is an amazing insight into a tendency to which any one of us can fall prey. He thought relationships could be completely selective, including those personally beneficial and excluding those that aren’t. “Let love be without hypocrisy . . be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:9-10 NKJV. Relationships are not about advantage; they are about contributing to one another’s betterment.

The Bible teaches, “Love cares more for others than for self.” 1 Corinthians 13:4 The Message. Could it be any more simply stated than that? Loving and serving hearts are indispensable to growing relationships. “Me first,” is not an attitude that wears well on others!

My prayer for you today is: regard others for who they are, not for what they have or do.

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