Be wise in how you act toward others, making the most of every opportunity.
Would you describe yourself as relationally wise? Here is a description of relational wisdom: But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17). Take a moment to think about each of those descriptors. How closely do these parallel your attitudes and actions toward others?
James describes a false wisdom not from God but from the devil. It is earthly and unspiritual. It stems from envy and selfish ambition and results in disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:15-16) Through selfishness, relationships that are meant to be a source of encouragement and edification become a source of discouragement, hurt, and strife. Has your relationship with someone been damaged because of self-centered attitudes and actions?
Wisdom in relationships comes from two things: a right relationship with Jesus, in whom are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3) Wisdom also comes from God’s word. Proverbs 2:1-6 describes how we gain wisdom by accepting, memorizing, and applying God’s word. How has your relationship with Jesus and your study of God’s word transformed the way you relate to others?
God says, Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3). Godly relationships begin with the proper mindset. In regard to ourselves, we seek humility. In regard to others, we seek exaltation.
A proper mindset then leads to proper action. Jesus, our example, humbled Himself, became a servant, and remained obedient to death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8) Even as Jesus laid down His life, we believers are to live self-sacrificing lives in order to serve and impact others in Jesus’ name.
Do you have a relationship that needs mending because of selfishness? Will you ask God to give you humility and a servant’s heart toward that person? Then, will you choose to act upon the wisdom God has given you, letting that person see Jesus in you?