Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 (NKJV)
E. B. White made the statement that “One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.” Furthermore, it can be said that the stress caused by bad relationships and the energy that is wasted on them is exhausting. In our lesson this week, we talked about some of the practical actions we can take to begin to transform our relationships. Let’s refresh our memories about the first three:
- Get interested in other people: Human beings are by nature focused on themselves – their interests and their preservation. The Bible has the solution. It says that as we show a healthy interest in others, they will be attracted to us. We will not only acquire more friends, but we can ensure that they are healthier ones.
- Don’t be a chronic complainer: Complaining is poisonous by magnifying all the negative we can find. Like poison, the negativity invades ourselves and spreads to others. This now is the basis of an unhealthy relationship. We can stop this dangerous process at the beginning by choosing not to complain. We can further rob its power by practicing finding the things that are positive and being grateful for them.
- Be a good listener: One of the rarest things in the world is a person who will truly listen. Most of us pause when talking only for the purpose of thinking of the next thing to say! The Bible encourages us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. If we are always talking we will miss the wisdom that is all around us, often in the words of someone nearby that we can’t hear. So, practice listening. You will begin to draw people toward you.