As Mary DeMuth concludes Chapter 1 of The Wall Around Your Heart, she asserts that the most important thing we can do to help our relationships is to be obedient to God in whatever He asks of us. There is power in obedience. God often uses difficult people to shape and conform us to Jesus. Mary adds that we need to remember that all people are a gift from God:
“Every single person on this earth is a gift from God. He created each of us. Sure, we may be ragged or scared or angry, but we are all image bearers of an amazing God. Because of that, we all have worth. Even those people who connive to hurt you, who choose to inflict wounds, are image bearers.”
The author emphasizes that this viewpoint is essential if we are to live open lives, trusting God with joyful anticipation of what He will do. In other words, we must cultivate open hearts to Jesus and the people He places in our lives. The Hebrew term is levav-shalom, meaning “complete heart.”
May notes that we tend to be far too concerned that people are going to do right by us- filling or exceeding our expectations. When we focus too much on our own needs we become “entombed” in our hearts. In response to God’s abundant blessings, we rejoice in God-ordained opportunities to extend God’s abundant blessings to others.
Today’s question (from Mary): Looking back on painful relationships, how have they become gifts to you? When is it hard to see them that way? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Not a Fan