Today’s devotion is excerpted from Kathy’s newly released devotional book “God Is My Refuge: 12 Weeks of Devotions and Scripture Memory for Troubled Times.” This is Day One from Week Six on Broken Relationships. For more information on this book visit Kathy’s website.
One of my all-time favorite movies is Cast Away. Tom Hanks played the role of Chuck Noland, a FedEx systems engineer. During a business trip, Chuck narrowly survived a plane crash and washed ashore on a deserted tropical island. Before he finally found a way to make it back to civilization, Chuck spent four years completely alone, with no human interaction of any kind.
Complete isolation like this is only possible if you are the lone castaway on a deserted island. The rest of us are constantly connected to other people. Although the depths of our relationships range from superficial to intimate, no relationship exists in isolation from the others. The quality of one relationship affects all the others. For instance, an argument with one friend alters our mood and emotions, impacting our interaction with the next friend we encounter.
The author of the book of Hebrews shows us how our relationship with God directly affects all other relationships. A close, obedient relationship with God fosters holiness in our lives. When we live holy lives— lives devoted to God—we will be different from the world and its ways, and so will our relationships.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:14-15, NIV
The world tells us to put ourselves first. God commands us to love each other and meet their needs. The world tells us to revenge wrongs done to us. God commands us to forgive like God has forgiven us and to get rid of all bitterness.
Are you struggling in one or more relationships? Regardless of the issue or who is at fault, the first step in improving any relationship is to check the quality of our relationship with God.
Reflect and Apply
Take a moment to evaluate your relationships. In which ones do you need God’s help and direction?
Now check the quality of your relationship with God. Can you see ways that distance from God and disobedience have affected your relationships with others?
Let’s Talk: How can remembering what God has done for you help you to extend grace to others?