“And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other." (Matthew 24:31)

Life – it’s all about relationships

By Paul Bawden

Recently, my wife and I attended a conference where Ken Sande was the main speaker. Ken is the founder of Peacemaker Ministries and Relational Wisdom – RW 360. He is trained as an engineer, lawyer, and mediator, having conciliated hundreds of family, business, church and legal conflicts.

What was Ken’s message? Life is all about relationships. To live in this world, we need relational wisdom (RW). As Windows and Mac OS control every program on your computer, relational wisdom (RW) impacts every aspect of life, not only improving workplace performance and advancement but also enhancing worship, friendships, marriage, parenting, church unity and ministry impact.

To help us enrich our relationships, Sande suggested three qualities that can improve every relationship as He used some verses from the Bible. We can thrive in our relationships by using these three key character qualities, or we can struggle in our relationships by not using these same qualities.

Humility is the first quality needed in our relationships to be enjoyable. It is having the quality of having a modest view of one’s own importance, rank, or abilities. It includes a recognition that you don’t have all the answers, that you may be wrong at times and that others may have better insights, wisdom and abilities in certain areas than you do (cf. Prov. 15:33; Prov. 18:12; Prov. 22:4; Phil. 2:3-7 – see Christ’s ultimate example).

Teachability is the second quality. It is being able, willing and eager to learn from others. It includes an appreciation for the gifts, abilities and experiences of others and a recognition that you can benefit and grow by listening to and learning from them (cf. Prov. 13:1; Prov. 15:22; Prov. 15:31; Prov. 19:20).

Flexibilty is the quality of being able to easily modify your own opinions, goals and actions. It includes the ability to adapt to new information, change course, compromise on non-moral issues, and value other’s interests as highly as your own (cf. Prov. 22:3; 1 Sam. 25:32-35; Phil. 2:3-4; Matt. 21:32; Luke 22:42).

Certainly, these three qualities are mutually supporting. The more you exercise any one of them, the easier and more natural it becomes to exercise the others.

However, if you are blind to your limitations and puffed up about your abilities, or you resist advice and correction, or you are quick to point out the flaws and failures of others, while refusing to admit your own wrong, or resist moving out of your comfort zone personally, relationally, and vocationally, some improvement is needed in your life in the above three areas.

On the other hand, if you are honest about your strengths and weaknesses, you enjoy praising and affirming others, are comfortable about seeking advice and receiving correction from others, in love you cover the mistakes of others and are quick to admit when you are wrong, you are willing to consider new ideas, even willing to change your opinion as new information is obtained, then you are cultivating humility, teachability, and flexibility.

Certainly, the one who knows Christ as personal Savior (Romans 10:9-13), will seek to practice these qualities not in his or her own power, but by relying on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16). When there is a breakdown in relationships, the believer should be quick to ask forgiveness of the individual or individuals offended and the Lord’s forgiveness as well, so that Christ may be continued to be seen in the believer’s relationships to the glory of God.

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.