“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18 (NLT)
If studies have shown that meaningful relationships are the number one predictor of happiness in life, how is it that most of what we do in relationships is counter-productive?
Last weekend, Pastor Rick began a new series, You Make Me Crazy. We all have people in our life - Rick called them “crazymakers” - that do just that: make our life crazy! It goes without saying, in order to have a relationship you need at least two people. You do the math. In any crazy making relationship, you’re half the problem! I’m reminded of the words in The Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference. I can’t change others, but I can change myself.
The first step in achieving peace in relationships starts with me. It starts with you. The passage in James 3:17-18 is filled with biblical insight on the attributes of Christlike relationships. The first word that jumps out to me is wisdom; not the wisdom of my head, but the wisdom of my heart. Believe me, there is a difference. I can fill my head with the wisdom of knowing God’s word, but if I don’t apply His principles in my life - do what scripture says - then I’m only fooling myself.
I’ve got to start somewhere, so why not begin at the beginning! “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure.” According to the dictionary, pure means wholesome and untainted by immorality. That sounds like a pretty important lifestyle choice to me. Pastor Rick said it this way: “If I want to be pure, I won’t compromise my integrity. All healthy relationships are built on trust. There is no trust without truth.” Integrity, trust and truth: those are some words I can relate to. Those are words I can choose to live by.
How healthy are your relationships? Start with wisdom. Make it a lifestyle choice and have the courage to change the harmful habits in your life.
TABLE TALK WITH THE KIDS
Here are the six keys that Pastor Rick discussed to help create peace in your relationships. They all start with wisdom. Review each one with your family and discuss how you can apply it in your life.
If I want to be wise, I won’t compromise my integrity.
I won’t antagonize your anger.
I won’t minimize your feelings.
I won’t criticize your suggestions.
I won’t emphasize your mistakes.
I won’t disguise my intentions.