March 25, 2010

 

Tough Relationships

Lysa TerKeurst

 

 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

Do you ever feel like relationships are hard to navigate sometimes?  Are you in the midst of trying to figure out a situation that's complicated, messy and unpredictable?

Sometimes I try so hard to figure out just the right words to say and talk through a situation.  While talking is good, sometimes the conversations start running in a circle and there aren't any productive words left to say.  When this happens it can make a girl feel like giving up. But before I give up, I've learned to hush up.

Spending some time getting quiet can really be the best remedy for tangled situations. Taking a step back from all the emotion, frustration, and exhaustion to sit quietly with Jesus will do more to untangle a mess than anything else I've ever found.

Here are five beautiful things that can happen in the quiet:

1. In the quiet, we can feel safe enough to humble ourselves.

In the heat of a mess, the last thing I want to do is get humble. I want to get loud and prove my point. I've learned I have to step out of the battle and humbly ask God to speak truth to my heart for things to start to make sense. Never have I had a relationship issue where I didn't contribute at least something to the problem. Usually, I can only see this something in the quiet.

1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand..." (NIV)

2. In the quiet, God will lift us up to a more rational place.

When we are in the heat of a tangled mess, crazy emotions drag us down into a pit of hopelessness. The only way out of the pit is to make the choice to stop digging deeper and turn to God for a solution.

1 Peter 5:6 continued, "...that he may lift you up in due time." (NIV)

3. In the quiet, anxiety gives way to progress.

We can pour our anxious hearts out to Jesus who loves us right where we are, how we are. And because His love comes without judgment, we can feel safe enough to humbly admit we need Jesus to work on us. Trying to fix another person will only add to my anxiety. Letting Jesus work on me is where real progress can happen.

1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (NIV)


4. In the quiet, we see our real enemy isn't the person with whom we're in conflict.

This person with whom we're in this tangled mess feels like the enemy. They might even look like the enemy. But the truth is, they aren't the real culprit here. Satan's influence on both me and the person offending me is the real culprit. I can't realize this in the heat of the moment. But in the quiet, I become alert and can gain a strategy for acting and reacting in a more self-controlled manner.

1 Peter 5:8-9a, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..." (NIV)

5. In the quiet, I can rest assured God will use this conflict for good- no matter how it turns out.

If I make the effort to handle this conflict well, I can be freed from the pressure to make everything turn out rosy. Sometimes relationships grow stronger through conflict. But other times relationships end. Because I can't control the other person, I must keep focusing on the good God is working out in me through this and leave the outcome with Him.

1 Peter 5:10-11, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." (NIV)

In the end, this entire struggle can be used by God to make me stronger and more capable in my relationships.  If I am humble enough to receive from Him in the quiet what He wants to teach me through this, I can rest assured with whatever the outcome is.

                                                                                                                                                                          

Dear Lord, help me to stop trying to figure this situation out and just sit in the quiet with You for a while.  God humble me.  Help me see Your perspective.  Show me Your steps toward restoration.  Or show me Your steps toward a healthy parting.  Take my anxiety and replace it with Your peace, wisdom, and security. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Visit Lysa's blog for a list of Bible verses that are a must read for times of conflict!

 

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst. If you enjoyed this devotion, you'll love doing Lysa's new book, Bible study and DVD teaching seriesThere's a whole section on relationships where you'll learn the cure for envy and other relationship killers.

 

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

 

 

Application Steps: 

How might applying the truths in this devotion help you today? Have you discovered anything else good that happens in the quiet? Let's talk about it on my blog today. 

 

Reflections: 

One of the most crucial parts of this is to realize my real enemy isn't this person with whom I am having this conflict.  How does this help?  Keeping this in mind, write out a prayer for this person.  Sometimes praying for someone who I'm frustrated with softens my hearts and lets me see new possibilities for restoration.

 

Power Verses:

1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand..." (NIV)

 

1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (NIV)

 

1 Peter 5:8-9a, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..."  (NIV)

 

 

 

© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

 

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