Make these seven relational principles, seen in Jesus’ life and throughout Scripture, a part of your every interaction with others to live life as the masterpiece God created you to be. As you do, you’ll ensure all your relationships are always adding value to your life and you will be adding value to the lives of everyone around you:
1. Always show respect to others.
While it may not be the cultural norm, the Bible teaches us to “respect everyone.” (1 Peter 2:17) You may think, “Peter didn’t know the people I have to deal with.” You will reap what you plant—plant respect and get respect.
2. Always respond to those who are rude by being polite.
It’s natural to want to retaliate against those who are offensive to you. However, that’ll never add value to your life. It will only cause disharmony and make things worse in the relationship. Romans 12:17 says, “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.”
3. Always be grateful, not demanding.
How you respond to others when they serve you reveals your character. “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” (Luke 6:31) As a pastor, I like to take prospective leaders for the church to a restaurant and see how they treat the person serving them. Anyone can be rude and demanding, but only those who are living life as a masterpiece will consistently choose to be grateful and understanding.
4. Always speak the truth in love.
Ephesians 4:15 says that as you speak the truth in love you will be “growing in every way more and more like Christ.” Your relationships will have greater success as you focus on the “in love” part of that verse. Someone may pride themselves on always speaking the truth (or persistently speaking their mind). However, the key to this relational principle is the “in love” part. If you needed a surgery to remove cancer from your body, a sharp, smooth scalpel would be preferred to a serrated kitchen knife. Both would have the same result, but one would leave a smaller scar and cause less damage. The same is true of how you speak the truth.
5. Always show grace with those whom you disagree.
Don’t be judgmental just because you don’t see eye to eye with someone. In Romans 14:12-13, Paul gives insight into this principle: “Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” The focus of this principle is how you respond to those in your life that make choices you believe are wrong. You should always speak in such a way to help them grow, develop, and change, but never beat them over the head.
6. Always choose to forgive.
When you feel you’ve been wronged or hurt, forgive. As you choose to forgive others, it will allow you to live your life in freedom. Follow Jesus’ example. Hear His words from the cross about those who were crucifying Him: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) You will never be asked to forgive anyone more than you have already been forgiven by Jesus.
7. Always seek to add value.
The value of your relationships will soar as you choose to add value to everyone in your life. You will be a person that others seek out for a relationship. Jesus said He came to give you a rich and satisfying life.
Be generous with these principles in your relationships. Make them a part of your Life Palette everyday to assure that you live the “rich and satisfying life” that God created you to live as His masterpiece!
How would the world be different if everyone lived by these 7 relationship principles from Jesus? More important for you today, imagine how it would change your world!
Life Palette – The Book:
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