Having the right relationships can help us to soar in life, but the wrong relationships can hold us back. Here are three guidelines to help us discern which relationships are good and which are not: 1) When a relationship isn’t working, we need to acknowledge it. There are times when we have to cut our losses and accept the fact that sometimes our efforts aren’t enough and we can’t help everyone. Releasing someone doesn’t mean they’ll never improve; it just means that God is more qualified to help them than we are. 2) There’s a difference between helping someone and carrying them. This is especially true if we’re dealing with someone who always turns to us for help and tries to make us feel guilty if we’re ‘not there’ for them. Our constant help and availability might actually be preventing them from growing. Sometimes we need to step back and let them learn to walk on their own. 3) We mustn’t allow fear of criticism to stop us doing what’s right. Not everyone will be pleased with us all the time. There are always going to be people who disagree with us or who don’t like what we say. The truth can hurt, but it’s still the truth. There are times when we have to be honest and accept the consequences and disapproval. (It’s important that we check with God if it’s the right time to say something, and ask for wisdom in how to say it with gentleness and sensitivity.) The only way to avoid criticism is to say what people want to hear, which often mean we’re not honest. If someone pressures us to always agree with them, it might be a good idea to ask God if it’s a relationship we should step back from.
Are there any relationships that you’ve been having doubts about? Ask God to help you discern if you need to persist, or if it’s time to back off from it.
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