Saturday, December 15, 2012

God has a Plan B

When I'm struggling to find my path and looking for answers there are a special two I always seek guidance from, God and my mom. Lately I've been dwelling on {what seem to me} life's big decisions ... they've been the topic of prayers and conversations with God as well as my mother... pretty much anyone who'll listen these days :)

I stumbled upon this book, while out shopping with my sister, God Always Has a Plan B. I was looking for answers and direction and I thought this silly book {the cover caught my eye} might be a fun place to start. 

The book is broken into bite-sized chapters of wisdom. I like to read a few in the morning and a few after I get home from work to bookend my day. This morning I read a chapter titled God Has A Plan B for building grace-fill relationships. I thought the message was too good not to share so here it is. If you're interested in reading more click here. 

'Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying forgiveness or else forgiving another." - Jean Paul Richter

Human relationships will never be perfect until we all get to heaven. Until that day, our interactions with family and friends will be sources of great joy, but also extreme frustration and even deep pain. 

God created relationships and gave us the perfect model of how they should look. We were meant to love each other, to server each other, and to put others' needs ahead of our own.

The world's version of relationship is, quite often, selfish. Think about how many times you've been asked "What do you look for in a friend?" "What's your idea of the perfect date?"

Conversely, have you ever been asked, "What do you hope you can bring to your friendships?" "What kind of romantic partner do you aspire to be?" Did those last two questions seem odd? Thank the 21st Century's mantra: All Me, All the Time. Have you ever heard of anyone ending a romance or a friendship by (honestly) saying, "I don't think I was bringing enough to our relationship. I wasn't doing enough for you"? Nope, it's all about "What's in it for me?" "What have you done for me lately?" "Are you meeting my needs?"

Is it any wonder that we tend to approach relationships with suspicious eyes, half-closed hearts, or worse - a "get them before they get you" attitude?

God did not intend for us to live in this bizarre relationship economy, in which we try to gain as much as we can from others while giving as little as we can get away with. 

A friendship, romance, or family relationship built on that economic model is going to bankrupt people before long. Relationships work best under God's model. IF we, with an open heart, love each other, serve each other, and put our own agenda last on the list, we reap big, hefty bushels of love and joy in return. Does this sound like a paradox? It is. Welcome to the Christian faith, an entire way of life built on a paradox. A small seed becomes a huge tree. Those who are willing to wait at the end of the line end up getting upgraded to the front. Give stuff away like there's no tomorrow, and you get it back with interest. Clutch onto stuff with a kung-fu grip, and it'll wither and die and slip right out of your hands. Serve people humbly, and you'll become a leader.

What does this have to do with your relationship with your co-workers, siblings, friends, or romantic person of interest? Simple: If you are keeping score with any of the above people, you are playing the wrong game.

It's best to put away the scorecards when it comes to your relationships. Start asking yourself questions like, "What can I bring to the table in my relationships?" "What needs do those around me have - and how can I help meet them?" "What can I do that will delight the people in my life? Surprise them? Honor them? Show them God's love?"

This approach, the one Jesus molded so well, will set you free - turn you loose to be the kind of friend, son, daughter, sibling, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, whatever that people will thank God for. Wouldn't you like to play the relationship game this way, not the world's way? If so, it's your turn to serve. 

Serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13

I hope this shows another perspective if you are having any troubles with the relationships in your life. It's not too late or too hard to start looking at your relationships in a different way now! God wants the best for us and if you're not getting the best it might be time to take a different approach. 

After reading this passage I knew I need to make a better effort at focusing on what I can do for others rather than what I might get in return. 

There are many other amazing 'plan b's' in this book. It's a great bedside table book to keep on hand. Please consider picking up a copy! {I got mine at Kohl's}


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