Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you
Having great relationships with others begins with having a healthy relationship with yourself.
If you don’t accept who you are, it is difficult to accept others or to treat them well.
Let’s look at the story of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 4. When he was five years old, a person he trusted, and who was indeed doing her best to protect him, dropped him and he became crippled in both feet.
Mephibosheth was a son of Saul and had the potential to be king, but instead he spent his life in Lo-debar, living beneath his privileges.
Lo-debar means a place of no communication, and, like Mephibosheth, when we are crippled by an experience of being dropped, we can get to the place of not even being able to talk about it any more. We can spend so many years trying to find healing and restoration for those hurts and disappointments; trying to find a balm for that rejection and that abuse.
Meanwhile our uncontrolled anger or unsociable ways disconnect us from others and we find it hard to form the relationships that we long for.
The feeling of disconnection from others can drive us to embrace superficial relationship, one night stands or abusive partnerships rather than facing the pain of being totally alone.
Yet this is a flimsy answer that in fact only amplifies our disconnection and pain.
The truth is that there is no one who does not carry the devastating memory of some pain, loss, rejection or regret and whose fears do not threaten to overwhelm them and cut off their future.
There are a few things that we can do to help ourselves find the awesome relationships we long for, and which God, in His grace, sends our way.
- Understand that you are worthy of being love unconditionally despite your weaknesses.
- Recognize that you tend to see the world through the lens of your past bad experience, and relax that blinkered perspective.
- Be aware that God will send good people your way and be willing to trust again.
- Don’t download all your issues on a first meeting. Give the person chance to get to know you first and entrust yourself gradually. As the person provides security, allow them to see your issues and to help you release your pain and begin to love again.
My prayer is that you will not allow yourself to be swallowed up by silent despair, but that you will find God’s way out from your place of tears. He is more than enough for each of us. Trust Him again today.