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December 11, 2018
Selfishness prevents us from transforming our relationships. The existence of our lives may be all about the discovery of self. We validate it through relationships, but the existence of relationships is not about one’s life alone; it is more about the lives joined together. Relationships are not about me, myself, mine and I; it is more of me and you or me and others. Therefore, transformation happens when an individual values the relationship. He or she also values the people in it more than his or her very own self.
Let us go back into the commandment of Jesus about loving our neighbors. He did not just mention about loving others. He described how we should love others. Jesus said that we should love others the way we love ourselves. It is, therefore, not wrong to value or love one’s self. However, the love that you give yourself must also be the same as the one you give in your relationships. Remember, relationships transform because of balance. To develop balance, you receive love and you also give love.
However, relationships can also become a one-way route. This is usually the case when the cause of the problem in the relationship is not you anymore but the other person. Like for example, between married couples, only the wife gives to the relationship while the husband does not care. Many more relationships are like these, some survive, some end. Those who are involved in this kind of relationship only give but never receive anything in exchange.
Using a seesaw illustration, the one who gives is the one who continually stays at the bottom. This way, he or she can lift the other one. If this continues, the relationship will surely crash to its end. Commitment is the only thing that can prevent it. If one values commitment to the other, this person will never give up on the relationship. This is regardless if he or she is giving too much without getting any. Again, commitment is not about being trapped in the relationship. It is because of the worth of the relationship and the love in it.
It may seem so unfair and unjust but the Scripture tells us that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend, a spouse, a brother or a sister, a parent or anyone. If you want to transform your relationship, then be ready to sacrifice and let go of selfishness. It is about you and the other person, and sometimes, you have to put down yourself in order to lift others.
Relationships transform not because of perfection. It is because it manifests a state of greater love in the relationship. If you are in the kind of relationship wherein you feel that you are the only one exerting effort and you do not want to give up, then let me encourage you to look at the cross and remember how God gave up His own Son’s life to establish His relationship with His people. If you value your relationships, then learn to love greatly by loving beyond yourself.
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