I think it's a valid question. In a perfect world, we'd all be in harmony because we'd all be right with God and, consequencly, right with each other. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. Conflicts and disagreements happen, so how do you know who erred? Often, the truth is that there's blame on both sides. It really can lead you through a revolving door of wondering whether you're right with God,and whether other people are right with God.
And you'll only know one end of that equation. Furthermore, we aren't always fully aware of what's best for us. Trials and challenges come. Do we deserve them? Do we need them to 'grow up?' Did we bring it on ourselves through some error in belief, thinking, or action? Or is it simply bad luck? If we're uncomfortably honest with ourselves, I think we'd realize that we don't always want or appreciate what's best for us. Think about it: during trials and challenges, how often do you say "well, this kick in the *** is good for me because I really need to grow up/learn a lesson/have been a jerk." I don't mean to be offensive, but I don't know anybody with that level of self awareness, at least in the midst of trials, problems, and conflicts. After the fact; sure. In the middle of the storm; not so much. It's more of a perspective thing than a humility thing. We usually don't see how we threw a wrench through a relationship/situation to destroy it until we're picking up the pieces and noticing the jagged edges have our fingerprints on them, too.
Then there's another issue: people are, by nature, self serving. As Christians, we know that all things work together for good for those who believe in Him, but we aren't gracious when what's best for others clashes with our comfort level. Simply stated, other people aren't always going to understand what's right for us, and people fear what they don't understand. The fact of the matter is that God talks to each of us individually, and His plan for others isn't your business. We only see what we experience on our end, and He isn't going to explain things to us that aren't our business. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop us from trying to make it our business.
So back to my question: what does a right relationship look like in the midst of our imperfections? I think I'm overthinking it. Perhaps it means to start with Him, do my best, and trust that He'll lead me to right interactions with others. It may not always be unicorns and rainbows, but if I'm walking by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then I can trust that I'll be led on the right path and can have a clear conscious about my relationships and interactions with others. I can rest assured that I can handle conflict or disagreements, and if I make a mistake, I can take responsibility and trust in finding the right way.
I think it also means that a Christian has an obligation to be the best person they can be. Rick and I had an interesting conversation with some people last night about how challenging it can be to stay dedicated to bettering yourself in a world that values compromise and mediocrity. There isn't a lot of encouragement to be the best "you" that you can be, and it can be hard to find people who support that endeavor. Here, I think, is where the basis of "right relationship" starts. We are created to be our best. Are we obeying that commission? Are we true to it, or just drifting along the path of least resistance? If everything starts with a right relationship with God, then we have to acknowledge that we are His creation, and to dedicate ourselves to being the best creation we can be for Him and, consequencly, for others and this world.
This time of year, many people turn their mind to New Year's Resolutions. Self improvement is the purpose, but sadly, most resolutions fall flat because they're more of an act of will than of the heart. This year, I challenge you to take a different perspective. Instead of following the herd of typical resolutions, simply resolve to be the best "you" that you can be. Pray about it and ask what it means. As I mentioned in a previous entry, we spend so much time chasing things that we already have, when some realization and work could bring them to life a lot easier than seeking them elsewhere. Resolve to be your best, and see where that leads you now and into the future.
That's all today. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I wish you the joy and blessing of the risen Lord, today and always.