One of the greatest problems we face in creating our Life Palette is relationships. Like color, relationships give life depth and dimension, energy and vibrancy, emotional strength and stability. Relationships are a necessary and natural part of life. They are also one of the most powerful and valuable assets affecting our Life Palette. Relationships make all the difference between lives lived as a masterpiece or as a forgery.
The Relationship Effect
Every relationship you have has an impact on your Life Palette, as well as how God the master artist ultimately paints the daily brush strokes on your life canvas. Some add tremendous value, always encouraging you to go to new heights, while others have a negative effect and, left unattended, could keep you from your destiny. The apostle Paul says it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:33: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Of course, while we get to choose some of our relationships (our spouse and most friends, for example), we don’t get to select all of them. We didn’t choose our parents, our siblings, our co-workers, or the neighbor who moved in next door. Even if we had that privilege, with our limited knowledge of the future we’d probably still make wrong choices. Just take a look at couples who marry and later divorce. At one point, they couldn’t live without each other. They thought the other person added so much value to their life they wanted to spend the rest of their life with them. If we were comparing their relationship in those early stages to a painting, they would have described it as the vivid reds that gave vibrancy to their life, the beautiful yellows that illuminated every day like a summer sun. In the end, however, it turned gray and dark.
Grow In Your Relationship Understanding
To assure relationships add value to your Life Palette, it’s important to forever grow in your understanding of how to relate to others. On the surface, you may think that sounds silly; after all, you’re already relating to your family, coworkers, and neighbors. However, unless you choose to develop your relationships, they will soon grow stale and become a detriment to the success of your life, and theirs. This is not God’s intent. As you continue to develop your relational skills, you can and should add value to the people you know and love, and to all the others who cross your path until the day you die.
Ask yourself how others—those in your family to the cashier who serves you at the grocery store—would describe you. If they were to put their relationship with you in the context of color on a painting, what would they say? Would they describe a gray, gloomy day or would they speak of you like the yellow of the sun? “The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.” (Proverbs 4:18) No doubt you’re also thinking of how you see others in your life, and you should. You may have quickly realized you have allowed some relationships to develop that may have a negative effect on your life as a masterpiece. Thankfully, there is someone you can turn to for perfect guidance on relationships.
Take Action In Your Relationships
Take some time today and consider how you relate to others. Write down areas of strength and areas of weakness. Prayerfully consider an action plan to grow in how you relate to others. Here are 3 simple action steps to develop relationships on your Life Palette today.
1. List those you feel you need to intentionally build a stronger relationship with and begin praying toward that end.
2. Consider ways that you can prioritize these relationships. (Write it down)
3. Clearly define how you can add value to their life and how they add value to yours and commit to do so.