“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
One of the common problems that people encounter is their lack of good relationships. Many complain that nobody wants to be their friend, but they never stop to see what could be the problem. It is imperative to realize that life is filled with relationships. Your desire should be to build every relationship in your life so that you have quality relationships when you get old. The verse above is the key to having quality relationships. Let me share with you several keys to building strong relationships with people.
First, the relationship must not be about you. The verse above instructs the believer about bearing the “infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” One of the biggest reasons many relationships struggle is because people make everything in the relationship about themselves. Let me ask you; is the only time you want to have a relationship with someone is when it benefits you? A self-absorbed person will only be interested in others when it benefits them. Sadly, this never builds strong relationships. A spouse that doesn’t care about the feelings and hurts of their spouse will find a distance created between them and their spouse. A believer who makes everything about themselves is a believer who drives others away. A self-centered person will only be concerned with others is when it affects their well-being. You only build strong relationships with a selfless mindset.
Second, strong relationships are created with a mindset to better the other person. The verse above says, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak…” In every relationship, your goal should be to see what you can do to make the other person a better person. You should constantly strive to see what you can do to help the other person’s life become easier. You should constantly seek how you can help to lighten the load of another person. When you’re wrapped up in yourself, you will never see the needs of others. Quality relationships are built when your desire is always to help lighten the infirmity of another.
Third, it takes patience to build quality relationships. The example of building relationships is found in Christ. Verse 4 shows that Christ built His relationships with mankind through “patience.” You cannot be impatient with people and build quality relationships. You are going to find that quality relationships had times of inconvenience and struggle, but someone in that relationship was patient with the other. If you are quick to sever relationships because of someone’s moment of weakness, you will find yourself to be a lonely person when you get old. Patience is the key ingredient to building strong and lasting relationships.
Fourth, it takes active involvement to build lasting and quality relationships. Verse 5 says, “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another…” The word “consolation” is more than just comfort; it is being the moral support of a person when they need it. You must invest yourself in others, which will inconvenience you, to build quality relationships. You can’t be wrapped up in yourself; you must focus your life on building others.
My friend, building relationships is only done by taking your eyes off yourself and living to please others. Always remember that a fulfilling life is one that invests itself in others.