I believe we are heading into a season of transition, where God is taking us from one place in our lives to new opportunities and promises bigger than we have ever thought possible.
Sadly, I believe we have missed an essential component when stepping into the blessings and purposes God has called us to. And this aspect has everything to do with relationships.
Think about the diverse relationships in your life: intimate relationships, close friendships, family connections, and those you don’t know at all. The truth is that how we treat one another could be a hindrance or a key to where God is transitioning you.
Simply put? He won’t take you anywhere if you are going to be nasty to other people.
How God Calls Us to Treat Others
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Replay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.”
Romans 12:14, 17, NKJV
We live in a culture where our human reaction to how others treat us is to repay an eye for an eye.
If they mistreat you, treat them the same.
If they talk about you, return the favor.
God is calling us to a higher level where we repay evil with love, kindness, and honor, believing and trusting in a God who holds the hand of justice.
“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”
Romans 12:18, NKJV
Regardless of how others treat you, scripture’s challenge to us is clear; as much as we can, we are to live at peace with all men.
Don’t worry about what was done to you because God promises and declares in Romans 12:19 that He will repay them for all the wrath they have caused!
We Can’t Rely On Emotions Alone
What is interesting about humanity is that we think we have to feel something in order for us to do something. We have come to the belief that If our heart isn’t in it, we think we can’t do it. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
When my oldest daughter, Sarah, turned sixteen, she got her driver’s license. This was a huge milestone in our family because now we had an additional driver to get everyone where they needed to be! I remember asking her to take her little brother to football practice one afternoon, to which she responded, “Why can’t you take him?”
Let me tell you, if I had acted on how I felt at that moment, I would have taken her O-U-T, in Jesus’ name!
We must arrive at a place in our relationships where we stop making choices based on how we feel. Because one thing is for sure, and that is that your feelings will continually change.
Your Help May Come From Unexpected Sources
When I reflect on every significant advancement in my lifetime, one thing remains constant; every significant opportunity has been birthed out of a relationship.
And the same has proved to be constant of those mentioned in the Bible.
“Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, ‘Go, view the land, especially Jericho.’ So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there.”
Joshua 2:1, NKJV
Joshua, who would lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, sent two spies to scope things out. Upon coming to the city, they met and ended up staying at the house of a harlot. (A harlot is the equivalent of an escort or a prostitute.)
She would be viewed as someone no respectable, right-standing man would be caught talking to. Yet, they knocked, and she opened the door of opportunity.
For you see, without her help and direction, the spies would have been killed. This woman of the night protected and spared their lives. (Joshua 2:2-3)
“Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, ‘Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.’”
Joshua 2:4-5, NKJV
She told the po-po, the feds, the police that she didn’t know where the spies went; however, they were still in her camp! So she tricked the authorities, protected the men, and proved she was an unlikely source!
Is there someone you met in passing whom you wrote off or treated poorly? You may have missed out on a divine opportunity!
“And she said to them, ‘Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way.’”
Joshua 2:14, NKJV
This harlot gave the men something they wouldn’t have otherwise gleaned without her: understanding they didn’t have!
There are unexpected people who will come into your life to give you the strategy needed to get to the place you are to go.
And that principle goes both ways. You see, not only did she have the insight they didn’t, but she was wise enough to find a benefit in this plan for her and her family.
In exchange for her help, she asked that they remember her when they came to overtake the city. And to this, they instructed that she lower a scarlet cord from her window. Then her family’s life would be spared.
Seek to Repair Damaged or Underdeveloped Relationships
Did you know that one key component to advancing to where God is leading you is to check your family life?
In fact, your family relationships are the training ground for how you develop other relationships. When you can’t get along with your own family members, how do you expect to get along with those in the church, friendship circles, and workplace?
Where you thought your family revolved around you and your desires, I am here to say, life isn’t about you!
Some of you need to reconcile the most important relationships you will ever have.
Be Careful How You Treat Strangers: They May Be the Keys to Your Destiny.
Years ago, I was given the opportunity to attend a conference. This gathering was for pastors and leaders from all over the country. While there, I was invited to dinner with a small group of pastors. I remember sitting at a long table, looking at all the world-renowned faces I recognized and how I wished I was sitting with them. But instead, I was looking across the table at the man who preached that day and the pastor of a small church. As he shared, I remember sizing my achievements up to his. Little did I know this man who is TD Jakes would make an impact on me as a leader and a friend in the years to come.
Church, you better be careful of how you treat strangers.
And as much as within you, live peaceably with everyone. Reconcile the broken places in your relationships, and watch God move.