We’ve previously talked about the Power of One. Today I’d like to talk about the Power of Three!
We have three types of relationships in life. We have a relationship with God, with ourselves, and with others. Each of these categories is vital to the health and well being of the others. When one relationship area is out of balance, the other two are also off kilter.
So let’s look at them one by one.
Our relationship with God determines everything about us. How we interact and depend upon God can revolutionize our mood, attitudes, and strength for the day. Likewise, if we believe things about God that are not true, we are setting ourselves up for tragic failure. So the most important thing is that we
- Know God and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. We must have an accurate concept of who God is, what His character is, and what He says about us if we are going to have a healthy relationship with Him. If we believe that He wants us to be happy, for example, we may make huge mistakes in our lives based on this false belief. Does God care about our heart and want us to live the abundant life? Absolutely! But we must determine what this means according to His Word–not based on what someone might lead us to believe. Read and study the Bible for yourself. Learn how to read it accurately. Without proper bible study training and tools, it is far too easy to believe God said something He didn’t. Many Christians are led astray these days but simply not knowing who God is and what He says in His Word. Engage with Him every day through private, intimate prayer time, and by reading His Word.
- Determine to surrender your will, your rights to Him. Determine to obey Him, no matter what!
- Strive to be His instrument of peace, love, joy, truth, hope, and compassion in your circles of influence.
- Trust Him with your life, the lives of those around you, and to work in your circumstances according to His will.
- Accept that He is God and you are not! You be you and let Him be God!
The second relationship that is also vital to the overall health and balance of your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Perhaps you’ve never considered that you are in a relationship with yourself. Let me ask you this: Do you talk to yourself? Do you think things about yourself? Do you belittle or demean yourself when you blow it or when you trip over that invisible bump in the carpet? Do you call yourself stupid or fat or tell yourself you can’t succeed at this or that? You can get time away from your boss at work or your spouse and kids at home, but the one person you can never escape is yourself.
Jesus said we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). In fact, He said this is the second greatest commandment–which makes it pretty important! So what do you think He meant when He said to love our neighbor as ourselves?
- First, it means we have to love ourselves before we can love others.
- It does NOT mean we are to have a self-absorbed type of love for ourselves, but an honest, kind and thoughtful love toward ourselves, as children and servants of the Most High God.
- Each of us is made in God’s image; we bear His image, and because we have His Spirit living inside of us, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19). Likewise, He chose us before the foundation of the world to be His children and to live out His purposes (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:17; Ephesians 1:9). Our lives are not our own; we were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).
- Just as we are instructed to put our oxygen mask on first and then help whomever we are with, when on a plane that has lost cabin pressure, we are expected to care for ourselves so that we can help and care for others. If you are caring for yourself at the expense of others, you’re doing it wrong! Likewise, if you’re caring for others at your own expense, you’re also doing it wrong…. It is vital to find the appropriate balance in surrender and obedience to God.
As we learn to appropriately love and care for ourselves, we will likewise be better prepared to love and care for others.
And finally, when we live in relationship with others according to our relationships with God and ourselves–in obedience to Him in both these areas, our relationships with others will more naturally follow suit! This doesn’t mean that by having a good relationship with God and ourselves that our relationships with others will be without trouble. It does mean, however, that we are more likely to take responsibility for our choices, our thoughts, words, and actions in dealing with others, and that we are more likely to relinquish those relationships to God as well.
A right relationship with God changes everything! But most of all, it changes us! Learn to get to know God, to know who He has made you and how He has instructed you to live, and maintain every relationship in your life in accordance with those truths. That is the Power of Three! It is powerful indeed!
Make today count!
In His grace,