(excerpt from Morning Meditations by Martin Wiles)
Romans 12:9 Donít just pretend that you love others. Really love them. (NLT)
In our age of technological marvels, they may have lost their importance. But when my children were young, they were popular and served a dual purpose: education and entertainment.
Building blocks. Simple yet profound. Begin by stationing a bottom row with each block spaced so that another block could rest on it without falling in the hole. Each row would be shorter than the previous until finally only one block would deck the pinnacle. One devilish swipe and they would come crashing down.
And they were educational. Decorated with various colors, letters and numbers, they were beneficial in teaching colors, numbers and the alphabet. But one wouldnít do. It took many.
Many blocks are also required to build and maintain relationships. Time is necessary. Marriage is normally preceded by months of becoming familiar with the intended. Twenty or fifty years of marriage doesnít remove the challenge of getting along. The same holds true with friendships and work relationships.
But there are other blocks that enhance grace based relationships. Love is one. The Bible references sexual, friendship and God love. Godís type of love continually gives even when there is no response or when the response is not the desired one. This love is patient, kind, not demanding and doesnít keep a list of offenses.
Honor is another. We are honored to have been created by a loving God who wants us to respect those we interact with. Everyone has God instilled potential. Better relationships also result when we bring the block of service rather than expectation. Prayer provides a firm foundation, narrowing the holes so the structure wonít collapse.
Empathy is essential. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone, but empathy is experiencing their pain.
And when conflict erupts-as it always does, avoid revenge and unforgiveness. Overcome evil by doing good and realizing we are all human and make mistakes.
One swipe of a hand could bring down my carefully erected structure of blocks, and one ill placed or defective block can do the same in relationships. Bathe your relationships in grace.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us relate to others the way You do to us. www.morningliteministry.com
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