fueling great relationships with others

Fueling Great Relationships with Others

My friend Matt learned the hard way how important other people can be to our lives.

In college, he pulled into a convenience store, threw open the door, and ran inside for a quick purchase. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite get his Chevy into park. It clicked out of gear, rolled backwards into a pole, and bent Matt’s open door completely in the opposite direction.

Instead of asking someone for help, he pounded his door shut with a sledgehammer.

It gets worse. A few days later, Matt rear ended someone, smashing in the nose of his car. When a guy pulled up and asked him if he needed help, Matt smugly responded, “No, I got this.”

A few days later, he was cruising down the highway when his crumpled hood gave way and folded back over the windshield. He barely made it safely to the side of the road.

A concerned driver who’d watched it happen pulled up next to Matt and asked, “Son, do you need some help?” This time, Matt humbly responded, “Yes, sir, I think I do.”

The key to living well is knowing when to say, “I got this,” and when to say, “I don’t.” Sometimes the greatest form of courage is having the humility to say, “I need help.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

A rope’s strength lies in its construction. Strands of fiber work together, creating strength they could never achieve on their own.

So it is with relationships.

We need people. And other people need us. But we don’t always recognize how much we need each other. On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Fueling Great Relationships with Others,” author and psychologist Dr. John Townsend is with us to offer practical advice for cultivating healthy relationships that provide what he calls “people fuel”:

  1. Be present – Be aware of what someone is experiencing, without judgment. Job’s friends sat with him seven days, saying nothing, because of his heavy grief (Job 2:12-13).
  2. Convey the good – Build others up by encouraging, affirming, and providing hope.
  3. Deliver reality – Think Yoda in Star Wars, or Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings. Provide wisdom, insight and make an appeal for change.
  4. Call to action – Provide a framework for growth and change, and challenge others to take difficult action. We don’t change until we act on our beliefs.

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