Your life has four important relationships. These are – with God, with self, with others and with things. Each can be in varying degrees of health or toxicity. Healthy relationship are positive, supportive, fruitful, harmonious, nurturing, encouraging, happy, truthful and dozens of other like words used to describe it. Think of each of these words in relation to each of your four relationship types and ponder how you are doing.
The four relationship types are now presented in the order in which you must accomplish them. You cannot have the later ones working properly until you have the ones that precede them functioning in harmony.
1. Relationship with God:
“Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind…This is the first and great commandment.” – Matthew 22:37
Our relationship with God is based on faith and obedience out of love. We are His children and as our perfect parent, He lovingly guides us and waits for us to return home. He first loved us and we are His to keep and are destined for greatness. The most perfect devotion and worship that we can manage in this life is what we strive for with everything we have.
2. Relationship with self:
You first need to be healed and heading on the right path to be able to utilize your full strength. We cannot share that which we do not first possess. Refer back to part one for ideas on how to get the best possible self-image. If you have “Relationship with God” healthy, you should naturally have a better understanding of who you are and of your worth. Take time to ponder who you are and decide what you want to accept and what you want to change. Be happy from now on for whatever stage you are at in life. Life is a journey of learning and improvement.
3. Relationship with others:
“And the second [commandment] is like it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” – Matthew 22:39
No real healthy person wants to be alone all of the time. We thrive in environments of collaboration and love. At the end of your life you will not want to talk about the great business deals, worldly accomplishments or any other earthly treasures you have amassed; you will want to be with your friends and family members and talk about those moments you shared. The best relationships are between two independent and healthy individuals that come together in a mutually beneficial bond of love.
Ways to improve your relationships with other people:
- If you find a relationship is not working right, first look at yourself and your behavior. Don’t assume it is the other persons fault. Even if it is you can’t change their feelings, only your own.
- Don’t criticize or complain about anyone.
- Express appreciation to others. Be generous with your praise.
- Show a genuine interest and get people to talk about themselves and find out what their interests are.
- Smile and project a positive attitude.
- Convince a person first that you are their true friend before expecting any relationship to be of a two-way nature.
4. Relationship with things:
You must learn to live within the monetary means that you have and never covet that of another. It is alright to enjoy material possessions, but they must never rule over you and consume your life.
Questions to ponder:
- How would you rate the health of each of your four relationship categories?
- What one relationship with another person would you like to see more harmonious and what will you do to take the first step?
- Can you really go a complete week without any complaining or criticizing?
- What praise and encouragement can you go give someone right now?