HANDLING ADVERSITY So What are adversities? Does everyone really face adversity? One thing we know…
Community and relationships are a core aspect of our existence. It’s important to cultivate healthy relationships and thriving communities and we can do this by understanding; how can I better myself so I can help others? How can I cultivate healthy relationships and values that are based on biblical principles? How do I create healthy boundaries? How can I handle adversities and resolve conflicts?
One important factor in cultivating good and healthy relationships is communication. It promotes trust, honesty, openness and mutual respect. Mastering the act of communication will demand understanding how we receive and give love through the five love languages; words of affirmation, quality time, acts of services, gifts, and physical touch
Another valuable skill for forging healthy relationships is setting boundaries. Boundaries are guidelines to help us maintain our sanity and space as well as inform others on how to treat us. We must learn to set boundaries in our relationships to help us recognize when a relationship is becoming or is out-rightly unhealthy and to effectively communicate these boundaries. Healthy Boundaries are not barriers in communities or relationships but ensure that you are in a proper state of well-being and then by extension your community.. We must also respect other people’s boundaries; The golden rule applies to boundaries -‘do unto others what you would have them do to you.’ (Matt 7:12).
Conflict is another human phenomenon that arises in every relationship and community as a result of individual differences. However, when conflicts are mishandled they can destroy relationships and communities and even leave casualties in their wake, while if they are utilized appropriately they can foster healthy and better relationships.
How can conflicts be maximized?
Conflicts can be managed by taking conscious steps in utilizing pertinent Conflict Resolution Styles such as; Giving way, Avoiding conflict, Standing your ground, Compromising, or Collaborating. In conflict resolutions, we must also note that just as there are five love languages, there are also five languages of apology which are effective in seeking forgiveness, they are; Expressing Regret, Accepting Responsibility, Making Restitutions, Genuinely Repenting, Requesting forgiveness
In the same vein, adversities are also part of life. Facing difficult challenges and overcoming them builds self-confidence, teaches self-control, and tends to foster an attitude of conscientiousness towards others, who may also face difficulties. Bearing this in mind we, therefore, have to prepare for adversities seeing them as opportunities to grow. We also have to trust God in times of adversities allowing him to work in us and with us while learning to forgive just as God forgave us,
“I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering. I will rescue you for my sake— yes, for my own sake!” Isaiah 48:10
Conclusively, life is more enjoyable and peaceful either in interpersonal relationships or at the community level when we understand the principles that govern them and most importantly allowing the spirit of God to guide us in our decisions.
TYING CELEBRATE COMMUNITY TO OTHER CELEBRATIONS
Relationships and finances
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Prov 3:9
Do you honor God with your resources? One of the ways the Bible teaches that we can show love is to be a blessing in our communities by meeting needs. It’s also important to understand financial roles and responsibilities in our relationships and communities and work hard to meet our commitments. Investing time and money in a relationship is a practical way to express our commitment and love. We should however learn to set healthy boundaries so that we are not exploited.
Relationships and Eternal perspectives
Bearing in mind that we will give an account of how we spent our lives here on earth is important to carefully choose our association and company. Our choices of community and relationships influence our choices and how we live. To honor God in our dealings we need to identify with people of like minds.
The bible says “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither and they prosper in all they do. (PSALMS 1:1-3)
Relationships and mental health
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Prov 18:24
Bad and harmful relationships get in the way of having a fruitful relationship with Christ and other people. They, sometimes, undermine and diminish our potentials and aspirations. It’s therefore important to surround ourselves with people who bring out the best in us and support us in the ups and downs of life.
Relationships and spiritual discipline
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Prov 27: 17
In practicing spiritual disciplines such as the Inward disciplines; prayer, fasting, and study or the Outward disciplines; simplicity, solitude, submission, and service or Corporate disciplines; confession, worship, guidance, and celebration, healthy relationships and communities help us stay on course with our spiritual growth and with GOD. It is pertinent that we carefully chose our communities and relationships to provide the necessary support we need for our spiritual growth.