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COLUMN: Build healthy relationships with a healthy attitude

Rev. Stephen B. Clark
Posted 4/30/22

Prickly People? How do you deal with them? What do you want most out of life?  Most of us would rank healthy relationships high on the list. Except for knowing Christ, healthy relationships make …

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COLUMN: Build healthy relationships with a healthy attitude

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Prickly People? How do you deal with them? What do you want most out of life? 

Most of us would rank healthy relationships high on the list. Except for knowing Christ, healthy relationships make life enjoyable perhaps more than anything else. Even if your health isn’t the best, if you have loving relationships, you can enjoy life.

You can make a pile of money, but if your relationships are broken or shallow, your life will be empty. A poor man with a loving family and good friends is far richer than a rich man who is poor relationally.

A loving relationship with God is of first importance; but loving relationships with others is second.

Because the Bible emphasizes healthy relationships so highly, it’s sad that so many people have hurting or broken relationships. Homes are shattered by divorce.  Some who stay married are unhappy.  Their homes are a tense battleground, not a loving refuge. Parents are at odds with their kids and the kids with their parents.

On the church level, some bounce from church to church, leaving a trail of damaged relationships behind. Some Christians won’t speak to other Christians because of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and wrongs that have taken place. Sadly, the loving families, genuine friendships, and healthy relationships that we want most out of life often elude us.

God’s Word gives the prescription for healthy relationships.

If you consistently practice these qualities, you’ll have healthy relationships. Maybe you are thinking, “But healthy relationships also depend on others, don’t they? It’s virtually impossible to have a good relationship with some prickly people!” True. The apostle Paul acknowledged this:

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all.” Romans 12:18

Sometimes, no matter what you do, some people are hard to get along with. But if you treat a difficult person with the qualities of grace, Mr. Prickly will change for the better in how he relates to you.  Even if some relationships never improve, it can change your attitude.  Our role is to put aside all anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, and lying (Colossians 3:8-9). And, put on “a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other” (Col. 3:12-13).

God’s gracious, loving treatment of us is the basis for our treatment of others. Think about it.

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