Relationships are necessary and vital to fulfilling our purpose and destiny on earth – it comes first from a relationship with God our father and creator. The book of Ecclesiastes declares that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun. God brings us in contact with people for seasons of time, some for very brief periods and others for longer periods. However, you may ask the question, what is the purpose of relationships that do not last? Does it help us to fulfill our destiny on earth and for eternity? Or what benefit does it have in my life?
God created each one of us for a purpose and imparts to us gifts and abilities that are necessary to fulfill that purpose. However, those gifts and abilities have to be tempered and molded according to His design and not according to our plans. We have to become like clay on the wheel of a potter, and choose to allow God to fashion us according to His original design, or we can choose to use the gifts and abilities that He has imparted to us according to the dictates of our minds.
Relationships are like a potter in our lives; if we allow them to be, and if we allow God to use them and us! It is all for our benefit. However, you may now ask the question, what of those relationships that are seemingly destructive and produce death instead of life? This is where we have to choose, this is where we decide; to allow God to work in our lives to melt, mold and fashion us according to His design, or to allow God to work through our lives to be used like a potter in the life of another person.
It is all part of the process of life! This is the ultimate purpose of any relationship. Relationships can be either HOT and FRESH, or COLD and STALE, it is our choice! We can choose to allow hurt, pain and circumstances to keep us in bondage to the past, or we can choose to allow God’s forgiveness, grace, mercy and compassion; to bring healing and restoration into our life and the lives of others.
Every hot and fresh relationship will last and have the greatest chance of success, as these relationships are controlled and molded by the Spirit of God within us to do good, but every cold and stale relationship will fail, as these relationships are more controlled by our flesh and natural desires.
A HOT relationship is:
H – ONEST
O – PEN
T – RUTHFUL
I am sure this is not what you had a mind when you first read that relationships must be HOT, but this is the type of relationship that God had in mind when He created Adam and Eve, nothing separated them from one another and from Him.
A FRESH relationship is:
F – ORGIVING
R – ESPECTFUL
E – NCOURAGING
S – ELFLESS
H – ONORING
In today’s society, being FRESH conveys a totally different concept from the original intentions of the word. Fresh as in new, clean, wholesome, warm and refreshing; this was God’s original intention, for His creation to live in peace and harmony with each other. To put salve on the wounds and ointment to the scars!
A COLD relationship is:
C – LOSED
O – VERBEARING
L – YING
D – ECEPTIVE
I am sure this gives you a whole different concept of the word COLD; it separates us from God and from one another. This was Satan’s original design for us and it is the total antithesis of God’s design.
A STALE relationship is:
S – ELFISH
T – HOUGHTLESS
A – NGRY
L – USTFUL
E – MPTY
Any cold relationship will end up being STALE, and conveys the meaning of being boring, tired and gone off! But it also has the implications of causing our hearts to become worn-out and hard towards God’s love; which ultimately affects our purpose and destiny in life. I will leave you with these questions:
What type of relationships do you want? What type of relationships are you going to build?
RELATIONSHIPS AND RECYCLING
What does recycling have to do with relationships? An immediate response would be – absolutely nothing! However, the many parallels are impossible to ignore.
Many products can be recycled, some can be recycled indefinitely with some loss of quality, others can only be recycled for a number of times, and some products that can never be recycled. The end product for a recycled material is never the same as the original product, but the overall quality may be the same. However, some recycled products can be just as valuable as the original product, but never ever resemble the original product. These are somewhat paradoxical and confusing thoughts, but this is where the similarities between recycling and relationship exist.
Our lives should never be like recycled products, as it will result in recycled relationships. We are all constantly going through changes according to the choices that we make, and according to the circumstances around us. If we do not allow the master potter to pattern our lives according to His original design, we have to go through the furnace many times and back to the potter’s wheel, not because the potter made a mistake with His original design, but because of the choices that we make in our daily lives.
Recycled products are changed according to the original materials and not according to the original design. The materials cannot say to the designer, make me into something different, even though the materials available control the new product. This is very different for our lives, as we are never forced to change by the master potter. We are allowed to go through different relationships – some good and bad, until we turn to the master potter in our time of need and cry out, “Change me O Lord, according to your design.” Only then can we fully enjoy true relationship with God and those around us.
Unfortunately, some of us go through the same problems over and over again; we go around the same circle many times, as we make the same wrong choices, according to our desires and not according to the design of the master potter. We try to build relationships without God – such relationships can and do exist, and can be very fruitful and productive, but they can be much greater with the presence of God.
One of the greatest similarities between a recycled product and any relationship; is this: any product that goes through a recycling process, has to be broken down, impurities removed and only the materials necessary for the new product are kept. Although we do not recognize it, we all go through this same process, with or without God. Relationships cannot be recycled without healing; otherwise, we will continue on the same self-destructive path and end up with the same problems repeatedly.
Many of us are very conscientious when it comes to recycling, as we are very concerned for the environment, but we are not so conscientious when it comes to relationships – we fail to see the destruction that unholy, ungodly and immoral relationships have in our lives and in our environment. It decays our moral fibre and our society. Some of us are not always conscious to recycle; we tend to discard many things that can be recycled without giving it a second thought, as it is so easy to purchase something new or to obtain another product.
Unfortunately, this is how some relationships are viewed as well, and we can have the mentality, “If it does not work out, I will try another.” Many relationships go through a recycling process, but not usually with the same person, this result in fragmentation of that person, shame and guilt, if healing does not take place.
A person must come to the realization that after many different relationships and experiences, they have been doing things their own way for so long and it is not working out. They must realize that they cannot change themselves or the other person, and accept that they are in bondage to their past and to their lifestyle. The future may look bleak and hopeless, and in their time of need, they cry out to God for help and asks Him to change them. God hears the cry of our heart enables us to change, He washes us with the blood of Jesus and cleanses us from our sins. We become a new creation in Christ Jesus just like a brand new product….
A friend means different things to people of various culture, customs and generations. My idea of a friend may be totally different from yours, and this appears to be constantly changing with every generation, but every friendship should have some basic characteristics.
F – ELLOWSHIP
R – EFRESHING
I – NTUITIVE
E – MPATHETIC
N – URTURING
D – EPENDABLE
S – TABLE
H – ONEST
I – NTIMATE
P – ERSEVERING
The degree of any friendship varies and changes with time – there are many boundaries within the framework of friendship, as it exists within every segment of our society and relationship, but for any friendship to last through the ages of time, it must be able to overcome the obstacles as we travel down the pathway of life. This is true for any relationship.