Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace.  Romans 14:29 NIV

Easier said than done, right?  Especially, when that one person is pushing their agenda (and your buttons) and becomes upset if you don’t embrace it.

I’m Luann and I have relationship issues.  My baggage could sink the Titanic without the aid of an iceberg.  However, God reminds me that He redeemed my past and is adjusting my character daily to more clearly reflect His Son.

And to do that He regularly places “grinders” in my life.  Grinders?  Those who grind away at me until all my nubs are worn off!  Maybe you have grinders in your life too?

When a relationship slips into wearing mode, I try to check three things:

Have I listened with compassion and responded in love?  It’s important to evaluate my own behavior to see if I am contributing to the toxic relationship.  Every situation has many factors and owning my part is key.  

Set limits.  People can only get in your space if you leave the door open!  Decide what is healthy for you and draw a line there.  Pray that God will help you establish boundaries.  Discuss and define them with your “grinder.”  Know when to walk away.  Romans 12:18 clearly states, 

If it is possible, live at peace.

That means there may be times when it is not possible.  Part ways for a season.  God can redeem anything and often He brings people back together after a time of separation.

Confronting difficult people is hard.  Understand that you can control how much of a negative impact they have on you.  Focus on your Savior and your own behavior.

Take some time this week and pray for each of your relationships.  Ask God to be a part of each one and to guide you in being a loving, trusting and peaceful part of each relationship.

Father, how easy it is to fall into relationships that absorb our strength.  Refocus our attention on You and how You want us to behave.  Teach us how to set healthy boundaries in all of our relationships.  May we always reflect Your Son, Jesus, in whose name we pray, Amen.

Luann Prater

Executive Director and Founder of Encouragement Café Ministries

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