Trusting God with Relationships

Feels like this is a season of laying everyone on the altar again. Perhaps, “taking up your cross” and “laying everything down on the altar of sacrifice” or “laying everything down at the feet of Jesus” are different ways of saying the same thing.

God desires for us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Is it time to cut out unnecessary distractions?

Sometimes we carry people, places, or things that God never meant for us to carry. Or we continue to carry them beyond the season we were called to carry them.

Today as I was talking with a friend, she said God had invited her to make a list of everything on her schedule, then present that list to Him. Not everything is meant to be carried forward. If our schedule is full of “doing things the same as we’ve always done before,” we’ve left little room for God to “do a new thing.” Time is our most valuable commodity, so we need to steward our time wisely.

But what about people? Are we trusting God with our connections? The time for trying to do everything on our own or in our own strength has expired. God designed us to be members of one body. Still, we need to be discerning with who we allow into our inner circle. Jesus loves everyone. He had thousands of followers and everyone seemed to have different expectations of Him or want something from Him. Jesus sent 70 out to serve, chose 12 disciples, invited 3 to the mount of transfiguration, and had only one who claimed to lay his head on Christ’s chest.

It’s difficult to maintain peace within our hearts and boundaries if we allow others to come to us to vent, process, whine, complain, or gossip. Rarely is this one sided. Likely, they’re complaining about us to others. Entertaining strife, division, and dissension can quickly muddy the waters of friendship. It can also defile our relationship with God and others.

Today I’m thinking about relationships. Is it time for me to give all of my relationships to God? Have I been unintentionally living with areas of my life off limits to God? 

Do friends share equally and openly (mutually beneficial), or does the relationship feel more like a burdensome, one-sided to-do list? Are expectations clear? What do you have in common? Is character consistent? Can you confide in them? Are they trustworthy to keep aspects of ministry or personal conversations confidential? Are you? Are you building each other up? Are they correctable? Are you?

There is no competition among friends, only celebration. Godly love is unconditional and forgiving, but don’t be gullible. Jesus has called us to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16), and to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7, Colossians 3:2).

A friend shows love, no matter what (Proverbs 17:17).
A friend gives heartfelt advice, bringing joy to the heart (Proverbs 27:9).
A friend rebukes when necessary, but the correction is done in love (Proverbs 27:5–6).
A friend influences, enlivens, and sharpens (Proverbs 27:17).
A friend avoid gossip (Proverbs 16:28).
A friend forgives and does not hold grudges (Proverbs 17:9).
A friend is loyal (Proverbs 18:24).
A friend helps in time of need (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).

As usual, I’m just pondering some things and reevaluating what I’m holding on to.
Every walk with God is individual. God never changes, but we do.
So dare to take all things to the Lord in prayer.