[CF Devotionals] 2014-08-17 - Smoke, Landslides and Reflections

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Who doesn't want a better relationship? It could be with a spouse, friend, family member or church family member, that we can strive to improve whatever that relationship entails. It could be to be a better coworker, or even someone that strangers are glad to have met, even if only for a couple of minutes or second or two, passing on the street. Three words came to my mind one day, and it later occurred to me that those words could easily describe any number of relationships we have either experienced, or may experience, at some point along the way. The words were smoke, landslides and reflections.

Smoky relationships, not unlike gases that can obscure an object, are those that hide us from our true selves and take us gradually further away from God as well. They also, like vapor from a match, disappear quickly and aren't there for us in the long run. Landslide relationships, like a falling mass of soil or rock, are a complete disaster. We often realize it, but somehow think we should stay in them, whether or not it makes any sense. We may find ourselves somehow caught up in the slide, as if we cannot break free. Reflections, on the other hand, are full of meditation and introspection. Those people we are in relationship with that cause us to think more about our own actions, and also to consider others along with what is true and right, show the character or reflection of God.

I don't know about you, but I am most interested in relationships that are better for me, better for others, and all that bring everyone closer to God. We need to examine all the parts of our lives, and those we spend time with, in order to do what we can to make ourselves more pleasing to God. The lasting result will be far better than we could ever truly imagine.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do." (James 1:22-25)

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18)

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All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.


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