BUILDING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Imagine that you have all you want in this world. Many cars and houses, all the money in the world, no fears whatsoever and you are in control of all that will ever happen to you. It sounds good, doesn’t it? I bet it does. Now imagine that all the wealth of the world belongs to you but you are the ONLY ONE in the whole world! You would not need to use your money to buy anything because you already own everything. You would not need to impress anyone by dressing well, speaking well or all of that. Your life would be a whole lot easier? I think not.
There has to be a reason why God did not make us all at once. In His infinite wisdom, He chose to make us ‘in batches’ – different generations, races, locations, tribes, languages and so on. This is because He wants us all to have points of convergence with certain people from which we can form we can form and build relationships. As God does not operate in the physical, he leans on human beings to bring his desires to pass in human societies; this is where relationships are important. For it is the people that know you that God often uses to reach you.
As Christians, we often fall into the trap of focusing on God and forgetting to relate with fellow human beings in an appropriate manner. In some of our prayer meetings, we seem more conscious of enemies than friends and blame them for things happening to us that may not concern them.
Have you ever noticed that on people’s deathbeds, what they often talk about –often with regrets- is their relationships? They hardly talk about their achievements, wealth, powers and the likes. They often say things like “please be kind to one another”, “forgive people when they offend you”, “please tell my sister that I have forgiven her”. It is rather interesting that it is when you are at the end of your journey that you are wisest by which time it is often too late to make all necessary corrections.
Every human being is an extension of God. God made everyone and that includes the very good and very bad. As a matter of fact, our perception of good and bad is not always accurate but subject to our ways of thinking, our beliefs, our temperaments and so on. Mastering the art of cultivating and sustaining healthy relationships is a great way to live a life to peace, joy and prosperity.
Since relationships are this pivotal to our success as humans and Christians, some important principles are worth keeping in mind as far as building relationships are concerned…..
You attract who you really are: remember the old saying ‘show me your friends and I will tell you who you are’? It is not everyone you meet that you build relationships with. Those you build relationships with are a pointer to who you really are. The secret is for you to continually make efforts to change into a better person and stop asking yourself why your friends are all bad.
Your best friend or boy/girl friend cannot be bad if your friends are good: I have heard people say things like “I’m a good girl, all my friends are good but I’m dating a bad boy”. How is that possible? It is out of the abundance of your relationships that the closest ones come out. I don’t believe in the theory of good girls like bad boys; those that like the bad boys are actually bad girls that are to cowardly to show their true colours.
Your relationships should add to you: Too many times, I have heard people say “it’s my friend that is making me do these bad things”. That is not what a healthy relationship does to people. A relationship should make me desire to be better, work harder, be more intelligent, be more productive, happier and so on. If you are the best in your circle, please change that circle. If you cannot point to obvious advantages your friends have brought into your life, please leave them. They are not worth it.
You do not need to change to be accepted: when someone says to you “if you do this, you will be my friend”, please move away fast. You do not need someone that keeps making you feel you need to do something to measure up to his/her level. You don’t need to smoke, drink, have sex, gossip or engage in any vices just to belong in any relationship. It is definitely not worth it.
Relationships are optional and should be deliberately built: Meeting someone can be accidental, but building a relationship with that person is a matter of choice and decision. Please do not say “I don’t know how I got close to him” as that is not a responsible thing to say. It is also ridiculous to say you don’t know why you are still in an un-profitable relationship as if it is compulsory.
Relationships can be appraised and dissolved: While you are stuck with your father, mother, siblings and the likes; you have a right to chose and de-list friends. It is crucial to always bear that in mind. Check the friends you have kept in the last 2 years and ask what those relationships have done for you. If the negatives are more than the positive, PLEASE PRESS DELETE!