Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction. 2 Corinthians 7:4
In case you are just joining in for the first time, I've been going through 2 Corinthians 7:1-4 and discussing how having too much pride, too many priorities and too little patience affect our relationships (for the first post in the series click here).Today I will be discussing the fourth obstacle to receiving God's love through our personal relationships-having too limited a perspective.
While I don't know if most people believe this, difficult times pave the way to more intimacy and deeper connection between two parties. Sure, no one enjoys a disagreement, but if two-way communication is allowed to take place around the disagreement, the relationship can soar to new heights from the mutual understanding.
Unfortunately, most people view conflict as undesirable in a relationship. I've heard many times from people that good relationships "are supposed to be easy".
Well...yes and no.
Great relationships do have a sense of ease about them. However, great friendships can have points of contention from time to time and still be great. Paul expressed his joy in the troubles he had with the Corinthians. Perhaps he knew that the tough times were only temporary and circumstantial and would bring forth change for the better. Paul never ceased to communicate either, even though it appears in his letter that he was the one who was pleading for acceptance. Paul knew that the Corinthians were worth fighting for.
The key to any relationship's survival is perspective and honest communication. If we keep our minds open to the possibility that our limited perspective is not the only way things can be, and keep the lines of communication open, any relationship with two people willing to reconcile can be salvaged and propelled to greater heights.
Dear Father, you know my heart. Show me your heart in all of my relationships. Thank you for the trials that keep me compassionate towards others. Give us all the hearts and minds to suspend our own judgment and open the lines of communication with those you have put into our lives. Give us your humility and patience and enable us to understand your priorities and perspective. Amen.