The Nitty-Gritty of Relationships

by Pastor Dan

We are continuing the series of articles from the book of Proverbs in the Bible.  They are very practical for our life today even though they were written many years ago.

A few weeks ago, I was in Puerto Rico with a team of people working at a Christian school.  One afternoon, we took a break and went down the mountain to the ocean for a swim.  As we jumped into the water to enjoy its refreshment, we were confronted with water so salty that our eyes began burning.  It is amazing that the very thing that God has for us to enjoy can become so irritating.  Relationships are meant to give us meaning and purpose for life, yet it can create divisions and strife.  “Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife.” Proverbs 17:1
I know that there are a lot of conversations from me that talk about relationships, yet I feel that we can’t really have too many.  We are designed and created to enjoy relationships in many different forms, but they are a lot of arduous work.  This verse has very little to do with what food we eat or how much of it we have to eat, rather what attitudes we approach life with.  It means strife, envy, anger, and discontent can create a feast of words and actions that create divisions within relationships.  When relationships are filled with love and peace, they function in quietness and gentleness.  Strife and envy are like grains of sand between your toes where every movement causes pain and irritation.  When love leaves a relationship, peace cannot stay either because a piece of God’s handiwork is no longer seen, and there is no longer security and safety in any of its motives.  God’s love is the element in which all its relations are set, and when it evaporates, the void that is left becomes occupied with each person's own interest.  The world's riches cannot secure this love, and poverty cannot destroy it.  

The rest of Chapter 17 gives us many examples of the vast difference between God's love and our feeble attempt to try and love on our own.  Verse 22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”  Are you carrying any dry bones around?  Maybe a relationship that is toxic or imprudent at best?  I am aware that people can say and do things that hurt and disappoint us, and those situations can have destructive effects on our lives, but I am also aware that there is help for us.  Those dry bones can come to life again through forgiveness and in developing loving relationships with a powerful base of support in our lives.  We encourage you to seek out trusted people and build strong, healthy, and lasting relationships and enjoy the life you were created for.  

 Blessings to you,
Pastor Dan