Psalms 119:130 NKJV The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
The solution to a complicated life is to be a better manage your life.
Manage – the organization of the resource at your disposal to accomplish the desired purpose.
The resources of our lives can be categorized in three general areas:
- Time Management
- Resource Management
- Relationship Management
We are going to look at Relationship Management.
Of the three areas that we are responsible to manage well, this one would probably be the most important.
This resource affects every other area of our lives and has a great impact on the quality of our lives.
The clear-cut goal of our relationships should be simply this: to exercise godly
influence in the lives of other people.
What does it mean to influence other people?
Influence: the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behaviors, opinions of other people.
After all, this is what God has called all of us to do as Christians.
Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Do not confuse influence with manipulation.
Manipulation is the desire to affect others for your own selfish benefit or personal gain. Influence is always for the benefit of others.
Motivation is the key!
Why is this so important?
99.9% of the time, God is going to use people to bring blessing, provision, and favor into our lives. He almost never does anything like this without using people.
God is constantly desiring to move in our lives, but if we have mismanaged our relationships, we hinder Him.
An example of why this is so important:
If a father does not properly manage his relationship with his children, he will probably drive those children away from him and thus not have any influence in their lives.
Proverbs 11:29 NKJV He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
How do we manage relationships: LOVE!
God’s love is the greatest resource we have been given to manage relationships.
1 Corinthians 13:8 NKJV (8) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
✓ We already have this ability on the inside of us!
Romans 5:5 NKJV Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
✓ God’s love is always unconditional.
We have the tendency to love others conditionally and in degrees based on we perceive and feel about others.
God does not do this. His love is unconditional and not based on anything except Himself.
Romans 5:8 NKJV But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
✓ It is the kind of love that always gives and never takes.
John 3:16 NKJV For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
✓ This is the kind of love that makes you a resource to other people and not a consumer.
What is the standard for God’s love?
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 AMP (4) Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. (5) It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. (6) It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. (7) Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. (8) Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].
This is the gold-standard of measuring how loving we are in our relationships.
If there is a relationship that is giving us a problem, it does not necessarily indicate there is a problem with the other person. It could be that there is something wrong with our love-walk.
Remember, this is a process. You are not going to change this in your over-night, but you can change. That is because you have God’s love already on the inside of you and God’s love NEVER FAILS.
Here is a huge key in learning to walk in love:
John 15:9 NKJV “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
To the degree that we know and believe that God loves us, is the degree that we will be able to love other people.
1 John 4:16 AMP And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.
Paul prayed that we would get this revelation:
Ephesians 3:17-19 NKJV that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– (19) to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
If there is fear in our loves, this is an opportunity for us to grow in the love of God.
1 John 4:18 AMP There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
✓ Are you worried about your needs being met? Then you are not sure about God’s love for you.
✓ Are you afraid of the Doctor’s report? Then you need to know and understand the love God has for you.
✓ Are you afraid that you have messed up so bad that God does not want you to His child anymore? Then you need a revelation of how much God loves you.
We ALL need to grow in this area. I do not believe we will ever arrive at the place where we fully understand the love of God. Why? Because God is love!
How do we get a revelation of God’s love for us?
- Fellowshipping with God.
- By spending time in God’s Word.
- By spending time in prayer.
If you struggle with having a desire to spend time with God in prayer, the way you cultivate that desire is to focus your attention in that area.
Attention breeds appetite.
Attention to right things breeds right appetites, whereas attention to wrong things breeds wrong appetites.
- Focus your attention on meeting the needs of other people.
1 John 3:16 NLT We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.
When we decide to love others unconditionally and serve them, we will deal a death-blow to our own self-interests.