|Our lives are made up of relationships; first with God and then with other humans upon the earth. The first human relationship we encounter is with our parents. The relationship we have with our parents, whether negative or positive, forms the foundation for all the other relationships we will develop over the course of our lives. Healthy relationships produce healthy relationships. Unhealthy relationships will reproduce more unhealthy relationships.
God has given us a blueprint for developing good, healthy, wholesome relationships -- His Word. The Word of God is filled with wisdom for establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. Not only has God given us the blueprint for developing and maintaining successful relationships, He has also given us the power and ability to have good, healthy, and wholesome relationships.
Philippians 4:13 boldly declares, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Christ is the Anointed One with an anointing. God has supplied us, through Christ, with an anointing to do all things, including an anointing to have successful relationships. Jesus' precious anointing empowers us to walk in unity, harmony and peace in relationships.
When God created man, he made man in His image and after His likeness. Man was a duplicate of God in every aspect. Relative to relationships, man had within him the ability to maintain healthy, life-filled relationships. Adam's wholesome, healthy relationship with Eve was a direct reflection of the wholesome, healthy relationship Adam had with his father (his heavenly Father, God). After the fall of man, death entered into the world and with death came destruction in every area including in relationships.
If we do not have a healthy relationship with our heavenly Father, we will not be able to maintain a healthy, and wholesome relationship with others. Healthy relationships with others will manifest as a direct result of a healthy relationship with God.
Satan is the father of all death and destruction whose #1 strategy in our relationships is to cause death. He comes only to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). That includes destroying relationships. Satan's death and destruction is manifested through strife, discord, disharmony and division. All these attributes are the manifest presence of Satan. When strife and division enters in, it will spread like a deadly disease and will ultimately destroy a healthy relationship. Whenever strife and division enter into a relationship, it will not stand. It will come crashing down.
Satan hates God. He also hates God's children. Anything that is a reflection of God, Satan hates. That is why Satan hates godly relationships. Satan's plan is to destroy our relationship first with God, then with one another. Satan hates godly relationships that are built, established and operating in love. This is because love is the direct opposite of what Satan stands for, which is hate.
God is love (I John 4:8) and Satan is hate. Anything that is a reflection of love is of God, including harmony, unity and peace. Anything that is a reflection of hate is of Satan, including disharmony, division, strife, confusion and wrath. If we say that we love God, and hate our brother, we are lying. A person who does not love his brother whom he has seen can not love God who he has not seen" (I John 4:20). A person who says He loves God and has hatred in his heart for another person is a liar. To have hatred in your heart towards another person is to be murderer; and, no murderer has eternal life dwelling inside of him (I John 3:15).
God is love and there is no hate in love (I John 4:8). God's plan for our relationships is love; and love is manifested through unity, harmony and peace. In this place of unity, God commands the blessing upon our lives (Psalm 133:1 & 3). Unity amongst the brethren is a powerful, powerful force. The devil hates for us to walk in unity in our relationships. His #1 strategy for disrupting our relationships is pride. His goal is to prevent us from living in unity, harmony and peace with one another. He uses his #1 strategy to divide us by planting the seed of pride.
Satan sows his seed of pride into the heart. When that seed takes root, it will begin to grow. The fruit that pride produces is Rebellion. Rebellion is against God, against God's Word, against God's ordinances, against God's laws and against God's ways. Rebellion is the manifestation of pride. Pride leads to rebellion, which leads to deception.
Rebellion demonstrates itself in disobedience first to God and His Word. Rebellion also manifests itself through a breakdown in our relationships with one another. God's plan for our relationships is to live in the same unity and oneness that He, the Son and the Spirit live and operate in: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one" (I John 5:7).
God did not purpose for our relationships to include strife, division, anger, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, control, manipulation or anything else that is a direct reflection of Satan and his nature. No, beloved, God purposed for our relationships to be a direct reflection of the relationship the Father has with His' Son (Jesus Christ).
There is a direct attack from Satan and the forces of darkness against the Body of Christ and especially an attack on relationships amongst Christians. There is an attack on relationships amongst Christians in all areas: denominationally, gender, generational, racial, economically, and in every other area. This should not be. Beloved, what is wrong? Have we given the devil place in our relationships after God's Word boldly told us "not to give the devil any place" (Ephesians 4:28)?
We, as Christians, should be a living epistle and example of God in the earth. When the world is in trouble, they should look to the Church and to the Body of Christ for help and direction; but today there is such division and disharmony amongst Christians that the world definitely has not been able to come to the Church for help. Jesus said that the world should know that we are one because of our love for one another. The only thing the world has known, thus far, is that we are divided. We are divided denominationally, racially, generationally, by gender and in many other areas. This must stop and it must stop now! Jesus is coming back for a bride that is without spot, blemish or wrinkle in every area, including in the area of relationships. How can we live together in heaven if we can't even get along down here?
We must adhere to God's Word, which is God's wisdom. We must adhere to God's words of wisdom for godly, wholesome, healthy relationships. We must not swallow our pride we must uproot it. Pride is of Satan. It is what caused Satan's fall and eviction from heaven (Isaiah 14:12-17, Ezekiel 28:12-19) and it is the #1 cause of strife, division and disharmony amongst Christians.
Pride leads to rebellion and rebellion leads to deception. Obadiah 1:3 says, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." Deception is darkness. Deception causes a person to believe that a lie is the truth. Deception causes a person to believe that wrong is right and that right is wrong. Deception causes a person to believe that error is truth and truth is error. Deception will cause a person to say I love God, and in the same breath to say they hate someone.
When a person is in deception, they are in darkness. First John 1:5 says, "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." Darkness distorts your perception. When you are in darkness, you cannot see your way. When you are in darkness, you are void of understanding, insight or truth; but, when the light comes, light always expels darkness. God's Word is light because God is light (I John 1:5, John 1:1-4); and, the entrance of God's Word will always bring you light (Psalm 119:130). God's Word is filled with wisdom for building and maintaining successful relationships.
God has given us a blueprint for developing and maintaining successful relationships -- His Word. The Word of God is filled with light, truth, direction and instruction to help us to live a godly life and to have successful relationships. First, God has given us the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17). When we are obedient to and keep the 10 Commandments, we honor God and we will honor each other in relationships.
Within the 10 Commandments is the commandment of love; and, when we obey and keep the commandment of love, we will have the key ingredient to weather any storm of life that will try to destroy our relationships because LOVE NEVER FAILS. God is love (I John 4:8) and God never fails; and, therefore love will never fail when practiced.
Beloved, search your heart. Ask God to reveal to you any darkness that has entered into your heart. Ask God to reveal to you any door that you may have opened to pride. Ask God to show you if you are operating in pride in any area of your life or relationships. Ask God to reveal to you if you are in strife or unforgiveness with anyone. If so, repent, receive forgiveness, submit to God, resist the devil and draw from the fruit of love that God has deposited on the inside of you. Remember, God's love, when released, will never fail. You can weather any storm that life brings against your relationships, when you refuse to allow division and pride to contaminate your relationships and cause strife, disharmony, separation and division.
When you make a mistake, be quick to repent and receive forgiveness. Also in your relationships with others, when a mistake is made, be quick to forgive them and let it drop. Refuse to bring it up again. Mark 11:25 in the Amplified Bible says to forgive implies to "let it drop." Beloved, to let something drop means to release your grip on it like you would a hot potato. Don't pick it back up. Leave it.
The #1 cause for strife, disharmony and division in relationships is unforgiveness that comes from pride. Not letting mistakes drop. How would you like God to treat you the same way you treat others, where forgiveness is concerned? You wouldn't. So don't do to others what you don't want done to you.
Don't forfeit God's plan for your relationship with others because of foolish pride. Remember, you have an enemy that is out to get you and he will not rest until he causes you heartache, pain and misery in every area of your life; for, he came to steal, kill and destroy your life. Jesus came that you might have and enjoy life to the full in every single area of life, including in the area of wholesome, healthy relationships with others. (John 10:10).
God's Word is filled with wisdom, godly wisdom, which will enable you to build and maintain successful relationships.
Proverbs 17:9 (The Amplified Bible)
He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.
Acts 24:16 (The Amplified Bible)
Therefore I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men.
Psalm 119:165 (The Amplified Bible)
Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.
Psalm 133:1-3 (The Amplified Bible)
Behold, How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment poured on the head, that ran down on the beard, even the beard of Aaron [the first high priest], that came down upon the collar and skirts of his garments [consecrating the whole body]. It is like the dew of [lofty] Mount Hermon and the dew that comes on the hills of Zion; for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, even life forevermore [upon the high and the lowly].
Hebrews 12:14-15 (The Amplified Bible)
Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God's grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroyeth much good.
Matthew 18:19 (The Amplified Bible)
Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.
Ephesians 4:1-6 (The Amplified Bible)
I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons of God's service. Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace. [There is] one body and one Spirit just as there is also one hope [that belongs] to the calling you received [There is] one Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of [us] all, Who is above all [Sovereign over all], pervading all and [living] in [us] all.
I Peter 3:8-11 (The Amplified Bible)
Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind [united in spirit], sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble). Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]: For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection]. For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good, whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit). Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]
Matthew 18:21-22 (The Amplified Bible)
Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times? Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy time seven!
Mark 11:25 (The Amplified Bible)
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go, in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.
I Corinthians 13:4-8 (The Amplified Bible)
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in use) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong], It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
Romans 13:14 (The Amplified Bible)
But clothe yourself with The Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like; of the which I tell you before as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Sprit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place to the devil.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11
To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also; for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
I John 1:9-10
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.