I grew up on my grandparent’s farm. I learned so much from watching my grandfather tend the land; everything he did in the natural realm of living has taught me so much about the relational and spiritual realms. Every year he would plant two crops: corn and soy beans. Every year when it was time to harvest, he would reap corn and soy beans. Never once in all the years watching and helping him farm did I hear my grandfather say something like, “I planted corn, but looks like the good Lord is giving us sweet peas instead for our harvest.” It’s an undeniable truth: if you plant corn, you can rest assured you will reap a harvest of corn; if you plant soy beans, you will reap a harvest of soy beans.
The relationships on your Life Palette will yield for you a harvest based on what you sow into them. It is a biblical principle that will add value to every area of your Life Palette once it’s understood and put into practice. “You will always harvest what you plant.” (Galatians 6:7) Make the next seven relational principles, seen in Jesus’ life and throughout Scripture, a part of your every interaction with others. You’ll ensure all your relationships are always adding value to your Life Palette (and that you’re adding value to the Life Palette of others).
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.” Remember, you will reap what you plant—and the harvest of your life is revealed on your life’s canvas. Disrespect will show up as a color that doesn’t belong. It will take away from the color harmony God is painting into the masterpiece that is you.
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 Palette. It will only cause disharmony and make things worse in the relationship. When you’re rude, it’s as though you’ve thrown a big blob of black into the middle of the canvas that has no business being there. 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.
You’ve chosen to take on the character trait of Jesus and serve others, yet there will always be times when you are being served as well. 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.
Be generous with these principles in your relationships. Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” And be sure and check out tomorrow’s blog for secrets 4 – 7 to Thriving Relationships.
Questions or comments about today’s blog? Type them in below, I would love to hear from you. Today’s blog is adapted from my book Life Palette, get your copy and live life as the masterpiece God created you to be.