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6-Guidelines For Cleaning up Any Relationship-1

6-Guidelines For Cleaning up Any Relationship-Part 1

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalms 51:10 (NKJV)

I remember working at the grocery store in my teenage years.  I boxed groceries, collected shopping carts and helped clean up the store between busy spurts.  I remember one such duty entailed having to clean up when customers would drop and break glass jars in the Isles.  It could be a jar of pickles, or baby food - one could never know until they rounded the corner and checked it out.  I think the mayonnaise was probably the worse for me. Nonetheless, I never worried about cleaning anything because I had the proper tools to do the job.

It is the same way with our Christian walk - we too, will inevitably be called upon to help clean up a mess made by poor choices. Or it may just be that we ourselves may end up being the dirty ones that need cleaning.   Let's face it, we all slip.  It's kind of like being at the grocery store again, saying, "Clean up on Isle "Me!"

Q:    So how can we clean up those messes in our Christian walk, or help others to do the same?

A:    By having the proper tools on hand.

In this case we need to have the Word of God at our side.  Having the Bible is like having a detailed instruction manual for building.  It contains the proper way to do various tasks, including maintenance, and it even includes many sections, containing a host of examples of, "How not to do things."

I believe that Ephesians 4:27-32 is a great example as it contains 6-verses that give us 6-guidelines that will ensure that we can be personally clean in any potential dispute.  I believe these verses are also great instructions to help us in many other situations, but for this devotional, we will focus on using them to help us to solve one of life's bigger ongoing problems - that of relationships.  

We just need to be faithful to apply these Godly ways in our "Own" walk, and let God take care of the other person.  It is never our job to "Fix" others.  This job belongs to the Holy Spirit, and not us.  The idea here is in me applying these guidelines to my life as I am intending on cleaning up "Me."  So, here we go!  The first guideline to getting clean is:

1.    Don't give place to the devil (Eph. 4:27).

 One way we give the devil a place in our life is when we stay angry at one another.  When we let that anger go unchecked, then we begin to grow a bitter root.  Ephesians 4:26 tells us that we are not to go to bed angry, and Hebrews tells us this as well:

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15 (NKJV)

Let's take a look at our second guideline given to us to ensure that we stay clean when confronted with the enemy's temptation to be a part of a broken relationship.

2.    Repent of ungodly ways (Eph. 4:28).

The actually command in Ephesians 4:28 is for those who steal to steal no longer.  But we can derive a solid guideline from this in that we are to stop our sinful action and "Repent," or "Turn around" from those ways based on our feelings.  Our Actions should never be based whether we "Feel" like doing something, but based on the way that God has told us to.  In the context of a relationship problem, we need to stop doing anything that is not in the will of God.  We should be remorseful of these things we are doing that cause fighting, division, hurt, and hostility.  We need to seek the Lord, and humble ourselves.

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:8-10 (NKJV)

In Part II of this devotional we will look at the next 2-guidelines that will ensure our being clean and righteous when being confronted with potential relationship disputes.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to the actions we choose?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you seeking God daily to ask Him to create a clean heart in you?  Are you willing to worry about yourself only, rather than trying to fix others?  Will you allow God to shape and transform others?

APPLICATION: Seek the Lord in prayer for all these things.  Ask Him to show you any area where you need to repent and confess failing.  Seek out others and ask for forgiveness for anything you may have done that was not in God's will within a relationship dispute.

Father, Thank You for Your mercies, which are new each and every day.  Thank You for forgiving me each and every time I come to you and confess my failures.  Thank You for not giving up on me.  Help me to have Your heart towards those who let me down or who may hurt me.  Help me to be a better imitator of You.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000