I am slowly learning that it is more important in life to have great, meaningful, and healthy relationships than it is to be right all the time. Not that being right is wrong, but that we, especially me, must learn to have tact and effective communication. My beliefs, principles, and values are immovable and if they weren’t what purpose would they serve? And if I didn’t stand by my principles what kind of a man would I be?
But I do know that I value relationships more than being right, and have in the past chosen the latter over the former. And if I have ever demeaned, insulted, or hurt anyone due to my standing sure on my beliefs, values, and principles and made you feel as if your beliefs, values, and principles were below mine or less important then I apologize to you all for such horrible things.
It read on our wall at Mt. Mission School, “I am a person of worth created in the image of God to live and to relate.”
I absolutely believe the happiness we experience in our lives stem from the quality of our relationships. We can be right and put that above your relationships and end up lonely. Or we can be right and lovingly tactful and tactfully loving in what we hold as beliefs, values, and principles. We can value our relationships more than our pride.
The writer of Ecclesiastes came to the conclusion that all that matters in life is our relationships: our relationship with our self by being principled, godly people who make decisions based on principle not emotions and by self-differentiation, by having wholesome, healthy relationships with other people where we avoid emotional entanglement and practice healthy boundaries, and a healthy, deep relationship with our Creator who gives us life by participation in His energies by the grace of His Son, who gave us His blood to defeat death and sin so that we may enjoy the covenant with him.
So work on having good relationships. Become self-aware. Work on your faults and personal development. Be part of relationships and emotional systems, but don’t get emotionally tangled with others. Discover your values and principles and live by them not by your emotions. Develop your boundaries.
Don’t worry about always being right. Don’t be pushy or condescending with your beliefs, but present them with tact and love. Respect other’s opinions and listen to them. Talk to your family. Get to know those around you. Participate in your neighborhood, your community, and your church. Dialogue, converse, and learn. Practice patience. Be forgiving. Be loving. Be gracious. Be a peacemaker. Work towards restoration and reconciliation and live at peace with everyone as far as it depends on you.
Seek God and the Kingdom above all else. Participate in prayer, in meditation, in Scripture reading. Take Eucharist. Seek grace and bestow it on others as you would have it on you. Love God with your whole being and seek to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may put on the divine nature and participate in Christ. Die to yourself. Become new in Christ everyday. Work out your own salvation daily. Don’t live by guilt, but by grace and forgiveness. Give Him your all by death to self.
Relationships are hard, but I believe we can have extraordinary relationships if we are willing to be humble and to work hard on them everyday. In the end, they are worth it forever.