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Building Better Relationships

If you’re anything like me, you often face a classic conundrum when it comes to how you’ll spend your time, asking: “Should I prioritize the important or the urgent?” For me, and probably most of us, the urgent wins. Make the kids are alive, try and keep the house clean, fix that broken toy, change the diaper, try and sleep, wake up, and repeat. You may not find yourself in our stage of life, but we all have the craziness of life surrounding and at times, overwhelming us. You might go to bed at night wondering if this is really what life is supposed to be like. That feeling is not just an anxious thought, but it’s also a warning. It’s a warning that we’re not meant to just run from one task to another, giving people half smiles and high fives on the way by. We were meant to grow in relationship with each other. Paul tells us to “encourage each other (1 Thess. 5:11), serve one another (Gal. 5:13), and be devoted to each other (Rom. 12:10). But that seems like a lot of work and relationships take time, and there isn’t much of it. So how do we prioritize this extremely important aspect of our lives with barely any energy available for it?

First, simply write down a list of key relationships you have. Who are they? This isn’t every person who follows you on Instagram. These are people who you trust, and know you can talk to.
Second, take a few minutes and asses your relationship with each person on your list. Do you know their current needs/challenges? Do they know yours? When was the last time you prayed for them or with them? Do you feel like you are an encouragement to them and they are an encouragement to you? If the answer to those questions are mostly negative, then we need to work hard to set our sights on Paul’s exhortations for us as believers. You may certainly feel drained physically because of how chaotic life can be, but you may also be drained spiritually and emotionally because you’re missing out on one of God’s greatest gifts, the encouragement of other believers.
So what can you do about it?
Finally, you need to set new commitments for your relationships. These aren’t New Year’s Resolutions. These adjustments are re-aligning your priorities with God’s. How can you do that?
  • Prioritize and plan. Things get done (for the most part) when they get on our calendars. When you prioritize it, you can plan for it. If you’re a mom and need some time out of the house, talk with your spouse or another family member and plan it. If you need someone to talk to, invite one of those people on your list out for breakfast or coffee. We cannot encourage each other or devote ourselves to each other if we don’t prioritize it the way God has called us to.
  • Look out for one another. In Acts 2, there are thousands of new believers coming together who may or may not know each other. However, by the end of Acts 2, it’s very clear that these believers were fully committed to knowing the needs of everyone and making sure they were met. How well do you know believers who you see around, but they aren’t in your “circle?” Do you know if they are cared for or have a circle? You can only find out by asking. Invite them to a mom’s group or a Bible study and see how you can be a blessing for them.
God makes this aspect of our lives as Christians a great priority in Scripture. Are we making it a great priority in our lives?
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