Relationships are living things. They are born, they grow, they experience ups and downs, relax in their maturity and easily take things for granted the older they get. And like everything else, they are guaranteed to constantly change.
Have you experienced as slow fading relationship? One that you don’t want to end? I’ve had my share of friendships peeter out over the years. And the harder I tried to keep them going, the further they drifted away.
I tried compliments and gifts and food – even my muscles as a mover. As the gap between us widened, I was sure I was doing something wrong. I just knew I had to do something to change the situation. I thought if I could try enough, I would hit on something significant.
Eventually, I did. But not in the manner I expected.
I was so wrapped up in the “doing” I forgot about being: being open & vulnerable, being trustworthy, being accepting, being available to listen. Active service is a great, intentional practice in growing relationships. But forcing selfless acts on a person is not enough. We also need to feed and deepen the roots of relationships with our ability to receive well.
The ability to sit with another in their grief and muck is just as important as the ability to help them out of the mire.
I’ve come to find, the same process applies to my relationship with the Lord. If I want to grow closer to Him, I must be available to listen, be open & vulnerable, be accepting of His truth.
I had to be open with Him when I was in the muck and let Him sit there with me until I was ready to let Him help me out. Once again, being is just as important as the doing.
Our relationship grows by leaps and bounds by being surrendered to His will, being ready to follow His promptings, and being willing to trust Him.
And when all this being and doing are not enough to save my relationships with others, it is being surrendered and accepting of God’s will that brings me the greatest peace.
It all starts with the ability to listen…
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6
I had always assumed this passage meant my reward would be monetary, or of power or fame. But as I grow closer to the Lord, my idea of “reward” has changed.
First and foremost, quiet and listening prayer brings the reward of growing peace and joy. Plus, the peace (of trusting Jesus) and that joy (of knowing the Lord) allows me to love at a greater capacity; that has been greater reward to me than any financial gain.
Being filled with love is ultimately what motivates us to start doing for the right reasons. So many times we start doing with the intention to manipulate for personal gain. Or we try to strike the perfect balance of being and doing to impress our friends. But doing for love’s sake is the only true act of service.
In the end, it is still a balance. But, being must come first. Being available to receive God’s love is what gives us the desire to balance the scale and pour out equally the love we have received.
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|Ginny Priz is a Christian coach, writer and speaker. Ginny has overcome her own drama with a prosthetic arm, alcohol, panic disorder, and codependency. She has a passion for guiding others toward the same peace and freedom she has come to experience. Ditching drama is possible for anyone “armed” with God and the Serenity Prayer! It’s never too late to start your own Serenity Journey.
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