I look back on my life… and I’ve had some really great relationships with certain people. Had some really bad ones too. I’m not alone. We all can relate.
But sometimes, life happens, and problems arise. Some problems strengthen relationships. Some problems sever them.
This last week I read a book called Rare Leadership, and though there are a number of other things I could comment on about the insights on the book, I felt today that I should simply shed a little light and encouragement on this one little nugget.
Sometimes in life we put too much priority on the “problem” instead of the “person”. Sometimes the issue you may be facing may become the issue that fractures the relationship. Sometimes too much stake in placed on the situation than the association… and some really great bonds can ultimately break.
Take Acts 15 for instance. Paul is having a great time with his buddy Barnabas and then within only three verses they are heading in two totally separate directions angry with one another.
Problem is… sometimes we can do it in less than three verses. That’s how quickly something great can turn into something horrible; simply from making the “problem” more important than the “relationship”.
I believe we need to aim to always make the relationship greater than the problem. Don’t allow the “problem” you face define the “person” you are dealing with.
In the end, it will not be the problems you solved that will define you, but the circle of people who you have influenced, loved, served, and grown with. Your cheering section will not be filled with your accolades… it will be filled with your associations.
At least that’s how I see it,
Well I’m approaching the mid-way point of the Bible for my devotions. I’m right now in the middle of Job (the book – pronounced “Jobe”) and as I am reading it I am noticing something rather intriguing. Is the book of Job only about Job?
Every time I’ve read it and every sermon I’ve heard about it speaks time and time again about the sufferings of a man who lost everything around him. Now, to give all of those preachers credit, I think that God speaks rather clearly to us about how we need to trust in Him during hard times and I must admit that I’ve used his story from time to time.
But what about those ‘friends’ of his? Oh my goodness! If I had friends like that I would throw them off the side of a cliff!!! Naggers, know-it-alls, self-righteous pious snibbling fools! They think they have the inside scoop on how to fix everybody else’s problems but imagine if they themselves had to go under the same microscope? I wonder how great they would turn out?
Then that gets me thinking… I wonder how many times we as followers of Christ, with the best of intentions I’m sure, tell other people what we think about their current circumstances hoping that we know what’s best for them? We give our advice, perhaps even jump to conclusions before even taking the time to listen and think that we’re doing them a favour when we may be doing more harm than good.
I like what Job says to his buddies in chapter thirteen. He says, “If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom (v.5).” That’s classic! I love his honesty with his friends. He’s saying, “Back off and just let me be. Will you just let me deal with this and hang around for support?”
We want to help people and we feel useless just staying there sharing oxygen. We want to fix the problem and come in with a ‘revelation’ that will save the day. I think that if you read Job through the lens of people who abuse their opportunity to speak into someone’s life like I am reading it right now, you may come back with a fresh and different perspective of what it means to “be there for someone”.
I’d be interested in your thoughts. Do you think that people can abuse the confidence that they have with people in times of crisis and trouble and perhaps even make things worse? Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of it. Perhaps you’ve been the ‘friend’ that should have just shut your trap. Tell me what you think. You can email me at Craig.
At least that’s how I see it,