Aug 24

Difficult Relationships

2006 at 2:31 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Friendship

A dear friend of mine is walking through some relational challenges at present. With a longing to encourage, I emailed the following quote—a favorite of mine—to her today. I know for me, I am quick to sinfully judge or become bitter when I feel someone has sinned against me. Yet I need to be swift to see God’s hand behind any wrong—whether it is real or only imagined. (How many times have I made uncharitable judgments of others only to find out later that I was mistaken?!) These words of Jonathan Edwards have helped me to get my eyes off others (and myself!) and to look to God. If you are facing difficulties in a relationship—whether it is with a co-worker, a friend or even a family member—I pray this 18th century quote will provide you with a Godward perspective today:

Love to God disposes men to see his hand in everything; to own him as the governor of the world, and the director of providence; and to acknowledge his disposal in everything that takes place. And the fact, that the hand of God is a great deal more concerned in all that happens to us than the treatment of men is, should lead us, in a great measure, not to think of things as from men, but to have respect to them chiefly as from God—as ordered by his love and wisdom, even when their immediate source may be the malice or heedlessness of a fellow-man. And if we indeed consider and feel that they are from the hand of God, then we shall be disposed meekly to receive and quietly to submit to them, and to own that the greatest injuries received from men are justly and even kindly ordered of God, and so be far from any ruffle or tumult of mind on account of them. (Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, pp. 79-80)