“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
– Matthew 22:37-39
I believe that Satan’s first attack on our lives is always in our relationships, and his primary method is deception. He lies and whispers that you’re not a good wife or husband, that you’re a horrible father or mother, or that you’re a bad friend or neighbor. He might also attempt to destroy your trust of friends by stirring up gossip and slander, which can keep you isolated and afraid to open up again. Regardless of his method, the devil wants you to believe that it’s better to withdraw and keep things inside than to bring them into relationship. Why? Because he knows that relationship is the primary manner in which we receive and internalize God’s love.
When you go through hard times and you have people who journey with you, it doesn’t make it easy, but it gives you the strength you need to endure. Life is hard, but if others know your struggles, the load is lighter. When you are honest with a handful of people about your doubts, fears, or the parts of yourself that you don’t like, you quickly find out how lovable you are. When you receive acceptance from others, it nurtures the deepest part of your soul.
When people put their arms around you and suffer with you, like Jesus did, you can experience His abundant life as you heal and internalize the depth of His love.
God, thank you for the gift of relationship. I ask that you give me the courage I need to open up to others and share my weaknesses and struggles.
Do you have deep and meaningful relationships with others? How does this impact your life?
We don’t have to accept guilt trips in spite of what’s taught in American schools…
So the devil doesn’t bother tempting me this way…
Frustration is another matter….