Relationships with those around us are imperative to a deep relationship with God. It has always been part of his plan, that we come to know Him better through sharing with others, and encouraging each other with His promises. He uses each of us, to bring each of us closer to Him.
He desires a closeness with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and blesses those relationships with peace ..."Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:2-3
Related to stress and the use of our resources, relationships require a tremendous amount of resource, which often leads to stress. Remember, stress happens when resources aren't
available for reason or another for accomplishing what we need to. That relates to relationships when we desire or feel the need to have a certain type of relationship with someone and their simply is not the resource for it.
Whether it be our marriages, relationships with our children, sisters, friends ..whatever the case maybe. We need resources to nurture relationships with them. Often, we are unbalanced in which relationships we use our resources on. We often give resources, whether willingly or because it is demanded of us, to relationships that may be the best use of those resources if you consider that each and every resource is to be used for God's service.
Even Christian relationships often need to be evaluated. Some relationships with other Christian women, may not be the best use of the resources of our time, mental energy, emotional energy, or influence.
I can honestly say, that about 99% of my relationships are with Christian woman and men. Some of those relationships have to be monitored for use of my resources at times.
Some examples of when relationships may be using more resource than they need to be ..thus taking away from the relationships you need to be focusing on, or using your resources in other ways:
A christian sister whose friendship brings emotional turmoil, constant strife or conflict for some reason. ..Often, for no reason other than we have different perspectives, we may not get along with some people. Sometimes, a relationship, though we desire it on some level (because you need a friend, or you feel they need your friendship), simply is not worth the drain on resources. Being able to let a relationship like that go, is sometimes the best for your effectiveness in Christ.
A christian friend who asks or demands of your time, energy or efforts constantly ...we all know people like this, who demand of us beyond what we can give. For the sake of "service" we give to the point of bitterness or frustration. Often, we need to set healthy boundaries with these sisters, and be at peace with saying "no" when you really dont have what they need (without taking from those who you need to give it to the most).
A christian, or non-christian friend who is not an encouraging influence on your mind or spirit ...we all know that the people who we spend our time, energy and efforts on and with can influence us very strongly. Often, a relationship with someone who causes you to be weak in an area (i.e., gossip, negative thinking) may need to be limited for the sake of your own relationship with God.
A christian sister whose company and relationship you enjoy so much that you take resources from those who you need to be giving it to ...sometimes we need to create boundaries to save us from ourselves :) When we so much enjoy someone's company we may be tempted to give them more than we can really afford in terms of our resources.
These are just some of the relationships that you may need to be on the look out for as you seek to determine if you are using all your resources the best way possible.
I hope that you are able to identify areas that you are giving too much, and the areas that you are not giving enough. I pray that you are finding peace as you seek to make all the resources that God has blessed you with, to His glory.
As we wrap up this study ..it has been a great 12 weeks! I hope that you found something that was helpful and beneficial for your walk with the Lord. I know I have learned a ton!
So, in closing ..."Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. " 2 Thessalonians 3:16