Without a doubt the greatest enemy of good, healthy, thriving relationships is … you!! It’s me! Ourselves. Our self-focus and our pride will, time and again, derail our ability to do relationships well.
We easily identify that in other people – in fact, you’ve probably even said it before in a heated exchange or about someone “all you do is think about yourself” or “why can’t you ever just admit that you’re wrong”!?
Pride is an expression of our selfishness because it is birthed out of our desire to either improve the way we feel about ourselves or protect the way we feel about ourselves.
Pride in relationships stops us from saying sorry first or fast. It causes us to defend our wrongs rather than confess them. Pride makes us reactive, defensive and sensitive. Pride confuses us and makes us think relationships are all about me – what I want, what Ineed. Pride sees us spending a whole lot of energy on self-protection.
But love isn’t about protecting ourselves! Love is an act of GIVING to others – so it’s all aboutothers. It requires humility in every sense.
Philippians 2:5-8 says, “in your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ … who made Himself nothing … humbled Himself … even to death on a cross.”
Humility is a hallmark of love and an essential ingredient in loving, healthy relationships.
As Jesus demonstrated – a heart to serve rather than be served, a heart of submission and gentleness rather than control and domination.
Think about the people you know who are great at relationships – humility will be one of their key qualities. They will acknowledge their mistakes or shortfall. They’ll be quick to apologise and keen to learn a better way to do things.
HUMILITY sees us take full ownership of our part in relational conflict. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have used that tone.” “Sorry, I shouldn’t have directed my frustration or fears towards you.”
HUMILITY positions us to love better – and also then to be loved better.
Humility will ultimately get us what it is we THINK we can achieve through pride. Instead of needing to work to improve or protect the way we feel about ourselves – to make us feel better, we will BE better and feel the full freedom and joy that comes with walking in humility and love as Jesus modelled so profoundly for us.
HUMILITY sown will ultimately be humility reaped. What you sow in relationships – gentleness, submission, grace – you will eventually reap. Humility breeds humility.
As far as it depends on us – we need to grow in humility!