Nobody gets along with everybody all the time. Some days, it’s hard to love our loved ones well. We could all use a fresh perspective and a little renewal in our relationships. In this strange season we are experiencing, you may have noticed, things get messy. When they get messy, it’s hard to know what to fix. What if you could boil it down to one thing? What if there was one common factor? What if there was one key that could improve all of your relationships? Well there is. That key is you.
Ironically, humans aren’t that great at human relationship. It might seem strange, but there is freedom when we realize that the biggest problem is us. When we remember our selfishness, our ego, and our issues, it’s a little easier to take the low seat.
We don’t usually take that path, though. When we’re in conflict with our loved ones, we usually fall into shame. To protect ourselves from that shame, we blame those around us. This is—quite literally—the oldest trick in the book. When man and woman first sinned in the Garden of Eden, they hid out of shame. But when God confronted them, they instantly started to blame:
The man said, “The woman, whom You gave to be with me,
She gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
When we own our mistakes, our issues, and our selfishness, we are choosing to live counter-culturally. We are choosing to respond to Jesus.
We’ve all heard it said, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” I don’t think that quite covers it. In fact, I think a better way to look at it is, “Love people, and hate our own sin.”
You see, God wants to do an amazing work in us. Too often, we’d rather put off that work. We want God to fix our relationships instead of our hearts. But a little bit of humility heals so much hurt in our lives.
What if we were the first to admit and apologize for our shortcomings?
What if we were willing to be wrong in the argument?
What if we allowed our spouse, our parent, or our kids to finish their thought without rushing to defend ourselves?
What if we lived a life characterized by humility?
When we can admit that we’re part of the problem, God has more room to do his transforming work in us. Here’s the crazy thing about God’s work of transformation—it doesn’t stop with us. As we let him do a renovation in our hearts, others benefit. We become more like Jesus, which is what the world needs more of!
It’s time to turn the mirror on ourselves, to surrender to the Lord more fully. It’s time to stop blaming and start owning. Humility might not fix everything. It might not make all of our relationships perfect, but it will draw us closer to God. (And that’s the most important relationship in our lives!)
“For God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Brothers and sisters, draw near to God, go humbly into his presence, and let him do his work.