Outside of your relationship with God, the most important relationship you...

Outside of your relationship with God, the most important relationship you can have is with yourself. I don’t mean that we are to spend all our time focused on me, me, me to the exclusion of others. Instead, I mean that we must be healthy internally—emotionally and spiritually—in order to create healthy relationships with others. Motivational pep talks and techniques for achieving success are useless if a person is weighed down by guilt, shame, depression, rejection, bitterness, or crushed self-esteem. Countless marriages land on the rocks of divorce because unhealthy people marry thinking that marriage, or their spouse, will make them whole. Wrong. If you’re not a healthy single person you won’t be a healthy married person. Part of God’s purpose for every human life is wholeness and health. I love the words of Jesus in John 10:10: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” God knows we are the walking wounded in this world and He wants the opportunity to remove everything that limits us and heal every wound from which we suffer. Some wonder why God doesn’t just “fix” us automatically so we can get on with life. It’s because He wants our wounds to be our tutors to lead us to Him. Pain is a wonderful motivator and teacher! When the great Russian intellectual Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was released from the horrible Siberian work camp to which he was sent by Joseph Stalin, he said, “Thank you, prison!” It was the pain and suffering he endured that caused his eyes to be opened to the reality of the God of his childhood, to embrace his God anew in a personal way. When we are able to say thank you to the pain we have endured, we know we are ready to fulfill our purpose in life. When we resist the pain life brings us, all of our energy goes into resistance and we have none left for the pursuit of our purpose. It is the better part of wisdom to let pain do its work and shape us as it will. We will be wiser, deeper, and more productive in the long run. There is a great promise in the New Testament that says God comes to us to comfort us so we can turn around and comfort those who are hurting with the comfort we have received from Him (see 2 Corinthians 1:3–4). Make yourself available to God and to those who suffer. A large part of our own healing comes when we reach out with compassion to others.

– Zig Ziglar

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