I have made a lot of mistakes in my relationships with people. I wish I could say that I’ll never make another mistake again, but we all fall short of reflecting God’s love to people in it’s entirety (Romans 3:23). My goal in my relationships with people, to the best of my ability, is to protect and steward them until they become a reflection of what Jesus died on the cross for; love (John 3:16). Many times in our lives, we experience things that are so horribly traumatic that they completely change the way we think. Bad experiences, unchallenged, empower lies that go against the very nature of God.
In the past year of my life, I have experienced disappointment in a particular area of my relationships with people time and time again. While the easiest way out would be for me to start blaming people for hurting me, I don’t believe relational pain is a matter of who’s fault it is, it’s a matter of what my focus is. Whenever my focus shifts to who I can blame for hurting me, I will live a lifestyle of offense and bitterness, but when my focus is to love people, regardless of who hurt who, connection becomes my priority.
I personally have my own battles with traumatic experiences from my past relationships with people, and many of those bad experiences come from taking great risks. Many of the risks I have taken have caused me to fail so miserably that I am still healing from some of the poor choices I’ve made. While I do believe it is wise to learn and grow from our mistakes, it is wiser to learn from the mistakes of others who are successful in the areas of our lives that were lacking.
When we repeatedly experience pain in relationships, the unchallenged lie that believes isolation is the way to avoid pain will gain authority and begin to take control of our lives. When pain empowers a lie it gives birth to isolation which kills, steals, and destroys. God never intended for pain to teach us that His promises are lies, but I believe He intends for our pain to take us closer to our promise through the process of perseverance, obedience, and trust. Love never fails, and when we keep love as our focus, it takes us closer to the people that make us come alive, closer to the desires that make our hearts skip a beat, and closer to our wildest dreams that were once hidden in a land occupied by fear, manipulation, and control.
Sometimes it’s the things we’re most afraid of that are the things we need to run toward. With a renewed mind, the pain that was intended to kill us will actually lead us to hide in the safety of the shadow of His wing (Psalms 91:4).Undealt with pain empowers an unchallenged lie, but healing in the secret place prepares us for an encounter with our desires that will become realized in the public place.
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