Working through Mark 8 in prep for a sermon on relationships this Sunday, 5 Jesus' tips seem to rise to the top. One caveat, these are not tips straight out of the chapter, but more like resting on the foundation His ministry of power lays.
1). People do not need to deserve your friendship, but they do need to deserve your intimacy.
2). People will expect no more out of you than you expect out of yourself.
3). Failure is neither a badge of honor nor a fatal fall.
4). Forgiveness is the most difficult chapter in the course of life.
5). Relationships are built, even when you are the only one in the room.
These 5 are straight talk. They are necessary talk. We sometimes construct and subsequently nurture relationships where the soil is soft, easy on the feet, and able to comfortably cradle a reclining frame. We do this when we hold back on what we believe, what we think, feel. This sets us up for denial of reality and friendships that falter when the storms come, and they will come. A big decision with a difference of opinion. An ill-spoken word, out of anger.
Jesus demonstrates relationships that are built upon a solid foundation of truth with God, self, and others. Five tough tips. One strong relationship.