Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
Like everyone else on this blue planet I’ve had my share of relationship problems. From friends to family and love relationships to work ones I’ve had my share of angry words and uncomfortable silences. In the past, I would rush in to trying to solve whatever problem had arisen. I couldn’t allow a quiet, cooling down period. I needed to work out the disagreement right now. I tried using my own solutions –whether it meant apologizing, arguing my point, denigrating myself, or even pretending nothing happened.
When I finally started taking my most important relationship seriously all that changed. When I placed God above everything in my life it helped to prioritize all my other relationships. It also meant I turned to God in seeking solutions to interpersonal interactions.
I recently have been turning to God about a friendship that has had its ups and downs. Instead of fretting over it and attacking it with my old gusto, I’ve given it over to the Almighty. I’m asking Him to let me know when to speak and when to stay silent. When to apologize and when to stand firm. And I have found His solutions to be so different than ones I would’ve dreamed up. His solutions have love for others first and foremost.
Today I praise God for being a change maker. For taking us broken, imperfect beings and turning our lives upside down. When I started taking Him seriously, He started making some serious changes in me.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:7-10
Besides the amazing gift of salvation, the promise that we are changed is quite possibly one of the greatest “selling points” of believing in Jesus Christ. My old way of doing things? It caused me a lot of heartache, despair, worry, and loneliness. And when we truly accept that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior we can’t help but be changed. We need to embrace it, ask for more of it, and look in anticipation for it!
Recently, after an interaction with a difficult person, I drove home praising God and giving Him all the glory. I said, “Thank God you have changed me Lord! Thank God I’m not the person I used to be!” Instead of angry, unattractive thoughts, I could only think of how good God is and how much He loves me.
I’m still working on my relationship with our amazing Triune God. But I know that when I get that right I can look forward to getting a lot of other things right. There’s so much that still needs to be changed in me and I know Jesus is the just the man for the job.