"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." (John 15 v 4)
Many people try to do good, be honest, and do what is right. But Jesus says the only way to live a truly good life is to stay close to him and not anyone else. Healthy relationships are not conflict free, they are conflict resolving. When things are going well, we feel elated. When hardships come, we easily sink into depression. The problem is individuals tend to fight for victories instead of fighting for solutions. The final outcome is usually one person wins, the other person loses and the relationship suffers.
However, when our lives are intertwined with God, he will help us walk through adversity without sinking into debilitating lows and manage prosperity without moving into deceptive highs. Differences are inevitable between people, normal and potentially beneficial. They are inevitable, because relationships bring together very different people. They are normal, because all relationships, including great ones, experience them. They are potentially beneficial, because handled effectively, relationships can grow through them.
There are three conflicting styles;
1. Avoidance Style. These are individuals who do not want to rock the boat. They fear confrontation, and resort to burying their feelings, not realising these emotions and feelings will rise again in the future at the next 'flashpoint junction.' These individuals can easily go from calm to highly explosive emotions in a few seconds. Meanwhile offences accumulate, unaddressed issuses multiply, and unfinished business constantly erodes the relationship.
2. Fighting Style. These are individuals who are ruthless fighters who refuse to give in and will (if pushed) inflict terminal (emotional and physical) wounds on the next person. Consequently each attack begets counter attack, both sides 'dig-in' and nothing gets resolved. The Bible warns if you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Two things can only come out of your mouth. A curse or a blessing!
3. Positive Appoach Style. These are the 'no price is too high for a good relationship' individuals. They are sensitive to the feelings of others, yet insist on dealing directly with important issues. They avoid blaming, confornt the issue, not the individual, and where possible invite others to partner with them in solving the problem and saving the relationship.
Healthy people make healthy choices, so how can you 'walk through this fire' without being burned?Jesus Christ is the vine. God is the husbandman who cares for the branches (who are believers) to make them fruitful. The branches are all who claim to be followers of Christ! Fruit is not limited to soul-winning Apart from him our efforts will remain unfruitful. We therefore have to start loving and giving back love. He is our only source of strength, wisdom and inspiration, no matter the challenge or situation. God desires for every individual to have healthy relationships.