Two weeks ago I said we would take a look at the approach or the attitude we should have as we work on our relationships. I am a week late because I wanted to get Pastor Cory's post on Criticism vs Correction up first. So, I apologize for the change in timeline. But let's jump into the number one attitude to cultivate in our approach to relationships: HUMILITY.
Humility is the #1 relationships attitude. Over the past three weeks we have gone through our Relationships Series at church on Sunday mornings. I opened up the series talking about principles 1 & 2 and Pastor Cory taught 3 through 8.
(You can catch up on the series below :)
As I was preparing and studying for part 1, I was drawn to Paul's letter to the church in Philippi. Paul encouraged them to have the same attitude of Christ Jesus through this beautifully written poem (And I'm sure it had a better rhythm & flow to it in the original Greek):
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
While on earth Jesus pursued all his relationship out of an attitude of humility. Because He was humble, He was able to give up things that are appealing to the human nature in order to serve others. His humility enabled Him to have patience with others. His humility enabled Him to empathize with others. His humility enabled Him to put our lives above His own.
If we would approach our relationships out of an attitude of humility we would be able to serve our family, friends, husband, wives, bosses, co-workers, partners and employees better. A perspective bathed in humility enables us to draw better conclusions about other's intent and actions. Humility gives us enough breath to pause long enough to ask God how we should respond. A prideful attitude assumes we already know what is right or assumes that our default reaction is right.
If Jesus laid down His rights in order to serve others, so should we. So, before we begin trying to put the 8 Relationship Principles into practice we should check our perspective and our approach. Pause. Ask God, "How can I approach this relationship in humility? God help me to be more like your Son Jesus who came not be be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for others."
Relationships are the most important thing in our lives. In fact, Jesus summarized all the law and the prophet's instructions in to two categories:
Love God above all else.
Love others like yourself.
And that is relationships, loving God and loving others! Humility enables the kind of love Jesus is talking about, pride blocks it. Relationships work best out of an attitude of humility.