I am sure you have heard people say, “I don’t want to be in relationships because I don’t want to be hurt again!” Many people have this attitude these days. However, we were not created to be loners. God uses relationships as bridges to get us to the destiny He has planned for our lives. There are certain goals and dreams you won’t be able to fulfill without God-connected relationships.
No one wants to be hurt. But the truth of the matter is, people will hurt us. Therefore, we must decide to set our minds (and wills) to get over it. The Bible even says that faithful are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27:6). True friends give constructive criticism—even if it hurts. However, we can control how we respond to hurt by taking authority over our emotions and refusing to hold a grudge. We can learn to let go, let God, and forgive.
Some of us get extremely hurt and disappointed in relationships, and end up having to go through traumatic experiences because we didn’t choose our friends wisely. It is so important that, as Believers, we allow the Word of God to weigh heavily in every decision we make, especially in choosing our friends. The Bible says, in 1 Corinthians 5:11, “I write you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person” (The Amplified Bible). It is obvious that this is a serious matter to God.
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, however. Jesus ministered to those guilty of immorality. They were His assignments. Although we are not to be “yoked or tied” with people who practice sin (2 Corinthians 6:14), we should not fail to minister to them either. A partnership is a giving and a receiving relationship. On the other hand, in a relationship that is viewed as an assignment, we do all the giving until the person gets his or her life together.
There are three levels of friendship, which are modeled after the tabernacle in the Old Testament. The tabernacle had an outer court, an inner court, and a Holy of Holies— the place behind the veil.
We have outer court relationships with people we know by name only. We treat them cordially as we interact with them at work, church, and other settings. They can be referred to as acquaintances.
Our inner court relationships are with people we visit or spend some time with on a regular basis.
We form Holy of Holies relationships with people we trust the most. Only a few people should be allowed behind the veil, which is a place of intimacy, where we are vulnerable and exposed. Our Holy of Holies friends celebrate, encourage, admonish, and reprove us whenever we need it. They love us unconditionally.
Love is a decision not a feeling. Therefore, in order to maintain a godly mind-set in relationships, we must:
First Corinthians 13:3-8 describes the God-kind of love. I suggest you read this scripture every day, and as your mind is renewed by the Word of God, you will begin to experience healthy, long-lasting relationships.
Print this page
Sign up to be notified when new issues are published.
©2008-2013 Creflo Dollar Ministries/World Changers Church International, All Rights Reserved