As Christians, relationships hold a lot of value for us. Often we only get one opportunity, one chance to make things work. But if things don’t go to plan, we can be left feeling abandoned and rejected.
We all have a desire to build strong relationships with those who are closest to us. Whether that be in our marriage, our family, our workplaces or with our neighbours living close by in our community.
Jesus didn’t mince words when He said, ‘You hypocrite, take the plank out of your own eye and then you’ll see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’ What He’s actually saying is that we might be the one with the problem.
The Value of Relationships
Peta Soorkia is a Christian Therapeutic Life Coach and leads the organisation Empowering You. She’s also a former pastor who is passionate about helping people improve their relationships, communication skills, time management, and self-confidence.
Peta recently joined us on 20Twenty to help us gain a better understanding of how we can apply scripture when we’re criticising someone, especially in the heat of the moment. How can we remove the plank from our own eye first?
‘We all love scripture,’ says Peta, ‘But it can be really hard when the Lord points something out in your own life that you need to address. We naturally gravitate to what’s wrong with other people because that’s easier to see.’
Some people seem naturally judgmental, and are always looking for the speck in their brothers eye. But Peta believes this happens in more significant ways in our closest relationships.
Allowing God to Transform Us
‘In a marriage we are acutely aware of our partner’s weaknesses,’ she says. “We can also see things in our children and teenagers. We can see their failings so clearly, but we wonder why they don’t seem to see them.”
It takes a big shift in our mindset to allow God to transform us. Perhaps God is challenging you to really listen. Are you hearing what your loved one is saying? Are you hearing what their heart is?
‘We need to empathically listen,’ says Peta. ‘We need to reflect back on what others are trying to say to us without putting our judgement into it. Listening on a deep level improves our relationships.’
God has placed close relationships in our lives for a reason. Things may not always change, but that is when we must learn to surrender our need for control to the Lord and put it all at the foot of the cross.
Humbling ourselves before God is so important. ‘If you’re wrong, ask for forgiveness,’ says Peta. ‘Forgiveness is a way to break through and release any judgements. Ask God to forgive you, cleanse you and renounce those things from your life.’
‘What we bind on earth is bound in heaven, just as what we release on Earth is released in heaven. Trust the Lord to do something miraculous.’