Cross Training

Closet Clutter: Walking Through Relationships

It’s been a while since family dysfunction reared its ugly head. I guess we were due because we got a triple whammy this Christmas. I confess–part of it was my fault. I opened my mouth when I should have kept it shut. Turkey and pie weren’t enough. I put my foot in my mouth too.

Paul helps us get started on the right foot in Colossians 3: 12-14 NIV:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Check out the new clothes: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience. These clothes are easy to wear around my girlfriends, but they are not my first choice for a family gathering. Pride, harsh tones, and impatience whistled from their spots in my emotional closet and begged to be worn. Forbearance and forgiveness clashed with pride like stripes and plaids. Love and unity fell to the closet floor and the fretting and frustration lasted for days.

Where do I go from here? How do I walk with God in my relationships? Especially the next time I see_____________.

To avoid a future wardrobe malfunction, I must allow Him to wrap me in His compassion, His gentleness, His humility. My strength is insufficient. In and of myself, I cannot love others as Christ loves me. Yet, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. I permit Him to choose the outfit for the day and I wear it because it pleases Him and keeps me out of trouble. As I deal with relationships, I’ll raid His closet. Come raid it with me.

Questions for the Week:
1) Is God your first choice or a last option in dealing with difficult relationships?
2) What is the second greatest commandment? (Google if necessary.)
3) How has God loved us?
4) How can we move our focus from the person to God?
5) How do you prepare to see that person when you are in the midst of relational difficulties?