Good relationships are possible but not probable.
In other words, relationships require work and effort on our part to cause them to be what God wants them to be.
(Romans 12:2 NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Transform – God never just tells you to not do something without desiring to change you from the inside out to give you the ability to change. That is why God is not a God to be understood, He is a God to be experienced.
All areas of life are affected by influence but especially in our relationships.
In our desire to have influence in the lives of other people through our relationships, we can sometimes set ourselves up to get hurt.
When we have been hurt in relationships, we will most likely do the following:
- I must protect.
- I must benefit.
- I must control.
- I must win.
We can see these issues in Jesus’ relationship with Peter.
- People will disappoint.
(Matthew 14:31 NLT) … Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
- People make mistakes.
(Matthew 16:23 CEV) Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Satan, get away from me! You're in my way because you think like everyone else and not like God."
- People are selfish.
(Mark 14:37 NIV) “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?”
- People might betray.
(Mark 14:50 NKJV) Then they all forsook Him and fled.
(Mark 14:71 NIV) He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”
If we allow what has happened in past relationships to affect how we handle future relationships, we limit or even eliminate our influence in the lives of other people.
Uncommon influence is believing the best even after the worst has happened.
(John 21:15-17 NLT) (15) After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these? " "Yes, Lord," Peter replied, "You know I love You." "Then feed My lambs," Jesus told him. (16) Jesus repeated the question: "Simon son of John, do you love Me?" "Yes, Lord," Peter said, "You know I love You." "Then take care of My sheep," Jesus said. (17) A third time He asked him, "Simon son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, "Lord, You know everything. You know that I love You." Jesus said, "Then feed My sheep.
My influence is not determined by my level of success but by my ability to help you succeed.
- Focus on the person.
(Philippians 2:3-4 NLT) Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Jesus did not look at Peter as a project but as a person.
- Focus on the positive.
(Ephesians 4:32 NLT) Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
(Proverbs 17:9 MSG) Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and--good-bye, friend!
- Focus on their potential.
(1 Peter 4:10 NLT) God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts…
When we focus on the potential in others, God will bring out the potential in us!
- Focus on their purpose.
(Ephesians 2:10 NLT) For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
If you really believe in the purpose in someone’s life, you will not stand by and let them fail.
Learn to focus on their purpose and not their performance!
- Focus on the process.
(John 21:19 NLT) …Then Jesus told him, "Follow Me."
We have to arrive at the place where when they win, we win.
That is what Jesus was willing to do for Peter.
The best way to love someone, is to help them become the best version of who they are.