Did you know that what is going on in your mind is affecting your relationships? I’ve been sharing some thoughts from Tom Holladay’s book, The Relationship Principles of Jesus, and he makes the point that “What’s happening in your heart is serious business. You may think that the self-pity you heap on yourself every day isn’t affecting your relationships. But it is” (p. 114).
Maybe you’re thinking that you cannot change the way you feel, and you’re probably right about that. But as Tom says, “You cannot change the way you feel, but you can change the circumstances that are causing the way you feel. And then the feelings will change” (pg. 114).
Let me give you an example. Suppose you work with a person of the opposite sex and your relationship has become very close. In fact, though you are single and he is married, you’ve allowed this relationship to go way beyond the boundaries of friendship, and you’ve spent much alone time together, allowed the conversations to become quite intimate, and you’re only a step away from beginning a physical relationship—committing adultery.
You know you need to end this relationship; you know it is wrong; you know God is very displeased with your behavior. But you’ve convinced yourself that you simply can’t break it off; it has become too important to you. Or perhaps you’ve convinced yourself that you can just back it down and keep it under control. Those are lies from your enemy, Satan, and you could not be more wrong.
So, what you have to do, if you want to avoid misery and heartache beyond belief, not to mention you want to live a pure life to please Jesus, is to take whatever drastic steps you have to take to change the circumstances that are causing you to feel this great need and love for the wrong person. You change jobs, you change churches, you move to another city—whatever it takes. You can’t change your feelings, but you can change your circumstances that are causing the feelings.
Jesus said if your hand offends you, cut it off; if your eye offends you, cut it out (Matthew 5:29-30). It is his principle of dealing drastically with temptation and sin, and believe me, you are well-advised to put it into practice if necessary. You’ll never regret going God’s way.
For a donation of any amount in the month of November 2021 you can receive a copy of The Relationship Principles of Jesus by Tom Holladay – while supplies last.