Relationships: The Heart of the Matter
By Dan Qurollo
As we begin a new year, many are looking at areas of life to improve. Some of those areas may be time management, priorities, exercise, or other health matters. One of the most common areas of focus is how to improve our relationships with others, whether that be with a spouse, family, coworker, or any other relationship. Often, people desire things to be better but struggle with where they should even begin. In some cases, things have gotten so bad that they have simply given up on even hoping it will ever change. How do we change or improve these relationships? Where do we even begin?
We must realize that all our relationships with others flow directly out of our relationship with God. Therefore, our focus must first be on our relationship with God. Relationships with others will never be right if we are not first right in our relationship with God. Therefore, we must begin by truly developing a personal relationship with God.
We often substitute our relationship with God with many other things. For example, individuals often point to service that is performed for God as a means to define their relationship with God. While service does naturally flow from a love for God, it is possible to allow service to God to take the place of a relationship with God. This mindset of pointing to our service to God can take a variety of ways. It can include church attendance, giving, or another form of service. It can include being involved in certain ministries of the church or in teaching a class; it may even include preaching.
But God is first and foremost interested in our hearts. We cannot claim to love God if we do not take the time to spend with Him. We cannot claim to love God if we are unwilling to obey Him. Our relationship with God is such that its development demands time and energy. If we wish to develop a relationship with Him, we must spend time with Him in His Word and prayer. The only limits to are those we place ourselves.
Tragically, we often fail to remember that God does not judge us as a man. Because we fail to consider this, we often do things that make us look good on the outside while neglecting our own hearts. When it comes to man’s assessment of things, we look good; however, God judges the heart. It is not our service that God desires first and foremost; it is our heart. Only when we have a heart that is truly right with God can we expect our relationships with others to be what they need to be. Do you desire better relationships? Then determine to address the heart of the matter and develop your relationship with God through consistent, focused Bible study and prayer.
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