“The beauty of relational humility is there is no need to have to be right, but instead you work together to make things right.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 14, 2022
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
Perhaps a better question than, “Who is right?” —Is… “How can we make this right?” The beauty of relational humility is there is no need to have to be right, but instead you work together to make things right. When one person forgets to follow up on a task, humility resists the urge to embarrass and shame, rather chooses to collaborate on ways to remedy the situation. Of course, there are appropriate ways to correct and instruct, but not at the expense of inflicting needless relational pain from an angry, selfish outburst. Brené Brown, the popular researcher and storyteller, frames this concept clearly and succinctly, “Humility is not having to be right but is committed to making things right. The great commandment is not ‘thou shall be right.’ The great commandment is to love.” Love indeed, not fighting over who is right, but humbly submitting to God for wisdom to make things right. “How can we make things right?” —a healthy response.
The Apostle Paul lays out a progression from relational humility to relational honor, resulting in deference to another’s needs. To be devoted is to be aware of another’s needs and to be there to lovingly care and support. Not to be the “Bible answer man,” but to show up, shut up, listen up! Devotion in love is not expecting anything in return, only to be present with no reciprocal agenda. This other-centered relational approach is able to honor another, above personal preferences. It’s an elevation of another’s emotional needs, so your safe space allows a hurting heart to wrap words around pain. Relational care does not care who’s right, only how can you make things right.
“We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:15-16, NLT).
Are you in a relational quagmire? You are stuck in a sticky situation that seems to be going no-where fast. For you to invest in relational health there needs to be a wise mixture of silence and solitude, blended with a community of vulnerable followers of Jesus. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the revered German theologian/activist balances this need for time with God and people, “Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community…but the reverse is also true: Let him who is not in community beware of being alone.” Indeed, the danger of relational imbalance is: God time without time in community, is relationally unhealthy, while community time without time with God, is relationally unhealthy.
Therefore, as you seek to make things right with those relationships in your life that give you life, keep a healthy time allocation of being alone with the Lord and being together in a trusted community of Christ followers. The holy Trinity will reveal to you an intimate love and faith that will grow you into a loving, set apart and beloved child of God who is comfortable in confessing your fears and struggles with a faith community who loves you unconditionally. Your caring conversations with family and friends will trend toward relational trust and love. The need to be right will lose its control, because God is in control. He will reveal how to make things right!
“He [Jesus] died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:10).
Heavenly Father, give me the humility and love to not have to be right, but to make things right, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Who do I love that needs me to stop debating and start being a student of what makes her feel loved and understood? How can I grow as an empathetic listener?
Romans 15:2; Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 8:1; Ephesians 4:29
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