Four Words That Will Radically Impact Your Hardest Relationships

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A must-read post for Christians! Learn the four words that will radically alter your perspective, teaching you how to handle hard relationships.I was hurt by a friend recently.

In a way that felt unfair and unkind.

And in a way that makes it pretty clear that she has no interest in remaining friends anymore.

I feel like she failed me in a big way.

It’s painful, I must admit.

As much as I want to pull my shoulders back and raise my chin high and pretend like I’m untouchable and unhurt-able, nothing could be further from the truth.

I want to lash out and defend myself and maybe even erase all the investment I’ve made in her and in us over the past few years.

But really, that would be rather hypocritical of me.

Because guess what?

I’ve failed people, too.

It’s times like these that I intentionally recall to my mind four little words originally shared by a dear friend. Someone who knows well the unspeakable heartache people can wreak on each other. Someone who has endured such relationships with utmost grace and gentleness.

All because of four little words that I suspect will radically change your perspective about relationships.

Even the hard ones.

And even the ones that are broken.

We’re all just people.

Will you stop and allow that soak in for a minute?

Let’s consider the loads of implications in these four little words.

A must-read post for Christians! Learn the four words that will radically alter your perspective, teaching you how to handle hard relationships.

Learning How to Handle Hard Relationships

1.) I fail people, too. We’re all just people includes me, and so I really have no right to that indignant-outraged-how-dare-they feeling that encroaches when I’ve been wronged. The hard truth is that I’ve failed people; sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally, and sometimes even unknowingly. I’m not above that person who has failed me. Because we’re all just people.

2.) I should lower my expectations. We’re all just people means that though Christ has redeemed us and made us into new creations, that sin nature that is weak and faulty and flawed (not to mention sinful and selfish and prideful) still rears its ugly head far more often than we’d like to admit. If we’re honest, we know that’s true for us; so we’re wise to expect that to be true for others, too. Imperfect people are not going to treat each other perfectly. We’re just not.

That’s even more important to remember in our relationships with unbelievers. Their sin nature is still alive and well, with no help from the Holy Spirit in their attitudes and mindset.

3.) I can overlook offenses. We’re all just people means I need to be that wise person the Bible commends who overlooks offenses (Proverbs 19:11). That means I can choose to not get my feelings hurt over small things. When my coworker greets the girl next to me without looking my way; when my husband forgets to complete a small task I’ve asked of him; when my four-year-old daughter asks if I have a baby in my belly (when I definitely do not); when I’m not chosen for the role I’m perfectly suited for (if I do say so myself)…I think you get the idea.

4.) I can assume the best. We’re all just people means I can choose to give people the benefit of the doubt. That I stop assigning negative motives to people’s actions, when I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. Let’s face it, sisters, we’re an analytical bunch. Which can be a good thing when we’re perceiving a need we can meet. But it can create mayhem in our relationships when we presume to know people’s motives.

Because guess what? So many times, there are much deeper issues going on. Issues that have nothing to do with us, but may affect someone’s view of us or her interactions with us. And that’s understandable. Because we’re all just people.

5.) I must apologize when I’m wrong. We’re all just people means I can apologize for the wrong that I have done. I can own it. Not in a proud kind of way that says it’s-just-the-way-I-am-so-deal-with-it. But in a humble kind of way that recognizes I just might carry some of the blame for tough relationships. Because we’re all just people.

A must-read post for Christians! Learn the four words that will radically alter your perspective, teaching you how to handle hard relationships.

6.) I can invite conversation. We’re all just people means I can invite dialogue about our differences and commonalities; our blunders and our boundaries; our hurts and our heartaches. I can stop giving the silent treatment and stop turning my nose up at the person who’s hurt me. I can choose to communicate like a Christ-filled adult instead of a bratty toddler or a passive-aggressive teenager.

7.) I will lavish grace. We’re all just people means I can grant grace freely, because it’s been granted to me freely. I can lavish grace bountifully, because it’s been lavished on me bountifully. I can impart grace undeservedly, because it’s been imparted to me undeservedly.

8.) I can leave the door open. We’re all just people means I can choose to leave the door open toward people who have closed the door on me. It means I don’t have to cut ties over petty squabbles and minor grievances just because they do. I can let them walk away on their terms, without growing cold or hard-hearted on my terms.

9.) I can let go. We’re all just people means I don’t have to desperately cling to the hope that someone will change her mind about me. I can acknowledge that while all people in my life are there for a reason, some people are only meant to be there for a season. I can recognize that even though I may miss a relationship with someone, cutting ties might just be the best thing for everyone involved.

10.) I can be at peace. We’re all just people means I can enjoy the serenity that comes from knowing that I’m living peaceably with all, as far as it depends on me. (Romans 12:18) Because that’s really all God expects of any of us. As much as it depends on me. I can do what I can, leave the rest in His hands, and be at peace.

Which tough relationship comes to your mind as you read this post? Will you take some time to pray over it right now, asking God to guide you in wisdom and grace? It’s my prayer that even your hardest relationships will be enriched by the perspective offered here.

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Want more encouragement in your Christian walk?

My 30-day devotional, Drawing Near: 30 Days Toward Intimacy With God, is now available on Amazon! Drawing Near 3D cover
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34 Replies to “Four Words That Will Radically Impact Your Hardest Relationships”

  1. Sarah Ann

    Wonderful words of wisdom! I It can be so hard to be the “bigger person” in a relationship, but God reminds us that we have to love and offer grace time and time again, no matter the offense. I found you through Inspired Bloggers and am now following you! It’s a joy to connect with a like-minded believer!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Sarah Ann! Those connections you describe are among my very favorite things as a blogger. 🙂 What a blessing to my life! Thanks for stopping by, and for saying hello. I look forward to getting to know you and your blog better!

      Reply
  2. andrea whatman

    thank you for reminding me of how easy it is to forget we are incredibly frail and lacking in grace when God has so lavishly poured out His grace for us. Thank you .

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Welcome, Andrea! I’m glad this post ministered to your heart; it’s a message that God still reminds me of pretty much all the time. Thank you for taking the time to say hello!

      Reply
  3. Mary

    Thanks for reminding me that I can leave the door open even when others close it. I needed to hear that… and it helps to hear those 4 words that level the playing field from judgment to understanding. I love because HE first loved me!

    Reply
  4. Dawn

    These were good reminders. Yes, we’re all just people. God gives us grace, and so we need to pass that along in our relationships with others. I loved reading this.

    Reply
  5. Kimberly Nyborg

    I just posted this week about relationships and how difficult they can be! As we think of Jesus “New Command” that we love Him and love others, more and more I see how vital it is to mend the broken ones!

    Thanks for posting Jennifer! Blessings on your ministry

    Reply
  6. Melanie

    Hi Jennifer! Honestly, it felt like you wrote this specifically for me. I was crying the whole time while reading it because everything you said was true and so spot on for me. Thank you for sharing this. God bless you!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Bless your heart, Melanie! I’m so grateful that God used a special friend to teach me the value of these four words. They have forever changed my perspective, and I pray they continue to bear much fruit in my life and yours. I truly thank you for sharing your heart with me.

      Reply
  7. Rebekah

    So much truth here – thank you for sharing these loving reminders with us. This truth is something I heard at my kids’ school, in regards to staff, parents, etc – we’re all just people first, and we need to remember to treat one another in that manner. I do love that you’ve extended the thought and shared what it means to you. I’m taking away so much from this – lavishing grace where I can! Thank you for sharing at Grace & Truth!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Thanks so much for saying hello, Rebekah, and for affirming the truth of these words. They continue to have an impact in my life, and I’m grateful that God used a dear friend to impress these lessons on my heart.

      Reply
  8. Brandy

    This spoke to my heart. I needed to read this today. My best friend has shut the door on our friendship and although it hurts beyond words I must love and cube and try to move on. I always told Her the door is open. I just pray one day she will knock and realize too that we are all just people and love is stronger than false perceptions. If only we could try to see one another through God’s truth. Thanks for this.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Oh, my heart goes out to you, Brandy. Your situation sounds like two I’ve faced over the past couple of years, so I can identify with the pain of a severed friendship. I just took some time to pray for God’s comfort in your life, and for the restoration of your friendship, if that’s what He wants for you. Thank you for reading; I’m glad you gleaned some encouragement here. ((Hugs!))

      Reply
  9. Lisa

    Such a timely read for me today. A conflict with my best friend of 12 years has gone from bad to worse over the last month. Such a shock and I want to respond in a God-honoring way. I can’t change her but I can change my attitude toward her. And God can change me! As He moves me beyond shock, confusion, anger, and sadness and to forgiveness, patience, and acceptance I can see her through His eyes & my heart motives are revealed through His word and I can remember we’re both just people.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Lisa, and welcome! I’m so sorry to hear about your conflict with your friend, but it encourages my heart to hear of the way God is working in your heart. Isn’t it amazing the way He can move us beyond those angry and hurt feelings? It’s beautiful proof of His love and kindness toward us. I will pray for you and for your friend – that God would give you wisdom and continue to preserve your godly perspective, and that He will work all things together for the good of you both. Thank you for sharing your heart here, and for letting me know how this post ministered to you!

      Reply
  10. Sara Borgstede

    Wow. What an incredibly powerful post. So true of friendships and also our closest relationships — husband, parent, child… I needed these reminders. Thank you for blessing me with your words.

    Reply
  11. Tiffany

    Such a powerful and moving post, Jennifer! I think you’re right, those 4 little words are definitely going to change my life! Sharing this ? Have a blessed day!

    Reply
  12. Mary

    Your blog brings me much peace. I just read the one about the hardest relationships and the fact that we are all just people. We have many broken relationships in my family and I pray we will all be reconciled but several “dig their heels in”.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Mary, and welcome! I’m so sorry to hear about the broken relationships in your family. Relationships can be hard to manage in this sin-struck world, can’t they? I pray that God would grant your family members wisdom and grace, and that He would draw each one to Himself. May He make your light shine brightly, for His glory!

      Reply
  13. Joy Thacker

    I love your refreshing thoughts! 🙂 So true, finding a balance in relationships by not expecting too much, and at the same time giving others the benefit of the doubt. God gets all the glory by relating with each other remembering – as you say –“we’re all just people”. I LOVE your perspective. Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply

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