WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 8, 2022
TOPIC: BUILD POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS
BY T. O. BANSO
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 New King James Version).
It is said that people have different personalities. Some are introverts and are thus shy and reserved while some are extroverts – the outgoing type. Some people are said to be ambiverts. In other words, they are between introverts and extroverts – they have both extrovert and introvert qualities or characteristics. There is another set of people classified as omniverts. While some people use the terms ambivert and omnivert interchangeably, others differentiate between them. My focus is not really on the personality types.
Whatever is your personality type, it’s important to build positive relationships because nobody is an island to himself. And to achieve some goals in life, you need positive relationships. Maybe you’re a textrovert – a new word being used to refer to a person who prefers to express his mind through texting rather than physical interactions. Such a person prefers communication via texts and other social media than in person. He also must learn to build positive relationships. Although one personality type could find this easier than another or others; everyone can learn how to achieve this.
I define positive relationships as relationships that achieve positive results. I am sure whatever your personality type, you want to achieve positive results this year and beyond. You must learn to cultivate or build relationships that will help you to make this happen.
Nobody knows everything or can do everything. We all have different gifts, talents, and skills and we must know how to leverage what others have but we lack to achieve positive results. Anyone’s failure because of his lack of a gift, skill, talent, etc. which others have could be attributed to pride, ignorance, or foolishness. Nothing stops anyone from connecting with people who have what he lacks but he needs.
Don’t be a loner or lone wolf and limit your effectiveness or sabotage your success. Build positive relationships. The Bible tells us the story of the people of Laish in Judges 18. The people of Laish, a Canaanite city, were complacent, lived carefree lives, like the Sidonians. They were peaceful, secure, and wealthy. But beyond these, the Bible says in the latter part of verse 7, “They were far from the Sidonians, and they had no ties with anyone” (New King James Version).
My concern is that they had no dealings with any man. One could say that they didn’t build positive relationships that could be helpful in times of need. They lived in isolation. Don’t isolate yourself. You need other people. Build positive relationships that will strengthen you especially where you’re weak and help you to achieve greater results.
The people of Laish never thought there could be a war and, therefore, never prepared for it. Unfortunately, the tribe of Dan attacked them and put them to the sword without mercy. They burnt down their town and changed its name to Dan. Nobody came to their rescue. Verse 28a says, “There was no deliverer, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no ties with anyone” (New King James Version).
Build positive relationships. God didn’t create you to go through life alone. That was one of the reasons He established the marriage institution. “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him’” (Genesis 2:18 New King James Version). But in addition to this, you need other people in your life that you must choose carefully because whoever walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed (Proverbs 13:20). Proverbs 12:26 says the righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Don’t be a loner. Build positive relationships. It has great benefits. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (New King James Version).
To build positive relationships, do the following:
1. Pray and be led by the Holy Spirit. There is no way to know the mind’s construction on the face. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (Romans 8:14).
2. Acknowledge that people are different and understand your differences. Those you need could be different from you in terms of personality, skills, talents, etc. Even in the church, the Bible talks about diversities of gifts, differences of ministries, and diversities of activities (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
3. Recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to decide with whom you need to develop a relationship.
4. Communicate effectively. Effective communication starts with listening. Listen to people. Your communication should be open and honest, with no flattery. Colossians 4:6 says your speech should always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Don’t claim to be so busy that you don’t phone, send e-mail, or discuss in person with people you want to build or have built relationships with.
5. Built trust. Be trustworthy and work towards mutual trust between you and those you are building relationships with and among your team members.
6. Be committed to the relationships. Be committed to those you have relationships with. You should be there for each other. Relationships will always cost you something. Don’t be selfish. There should be mutual commitment.
7. Be available, accessible, and positive. Create time for people. Don’t wait until when you need them. Some people don’t phone or visit others unless they need them. Such people are abusers. When people are around you, be positive; don’t be negative. A positive spirit or negative is contagious. A negative person demoralizes while a positive person creates positive energy.
8. Appreciate and respect others. When you appreciate people, your life will appreciate. When you appreciate people, they tend to do more or better. Develop this attitude in your team too. Romans 12:10b says in honor, we should give preference to one another.
9. Learn to overlook some wrongs. Proverbs 19:11 says, “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression” (New King James Version). And if it’s so important to call the attention of others to their wrongs, be forgiving (Mark 11:25; Matthew 18:21-22, 35; Luke 17:3-4).
Don’t listen to gossips. “A gossip goes around revealing secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence” (Proverbs 11:13 New Living Translation). Proverbs 16:28 says, “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends” (New Living Translation).
Whether in the ministry, business, academics, or whatever, don’t be a loner. Build positive relationships that will produce positive results in your life. Yes, the Holy Spirit has a major role to play in your life but people, the right people, also have their own roles to play. That’s why although the Spirit of God descended like a dove, and come upon Jesus Christ on the day He was baptized in water, He still chose twelve disciples to work with Him. He built a positive relationship with them.
Although one of them later betrayed Him, the relationship He built with the twelve disciples was not a waste. It paid off as they continued His ministry after His ascension. If you’re born again or you’re reading this, it’s because the relationship Jesus built with His disciples was productive.
Build positive relationships. Don’t be a loner.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to build positive relationships that will produce positive results in my life. Connect me with the people that I need; bring us together. Deliver me from wrong/negative relationships that I may be in now. Let 2022 be a productive year for me as people supply strength in my areas of weakness. My personality type will not hinder me from building positive relationships in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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