We're looking at the secret of JOY in building great relationships. But first there are some kill-joys that are common. Anytime you're having problems in a relationship I guarantee you, it's one or more of these things. They always kill the joy in relationships.
One of them is SELFISHNESS. Selfishness is saying, “I want what I want and you want what you want and we don't get along together.”
James 4:1-2 (TEV), "Where do all the fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your desires... which are constantly fighting within you... you strongly desire things but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight."
James is saying that really the root problem of relational difficulties is a power struggle between two selfish, insecure people. For a lot of us, to solve the relational problems we're in right now, the simple solution is: grow up. You need to stop being so self-centered. Think of your mate, or partner, or friend rather than just yourself.
You hear people saying "I have my rights!" Yes you do. But when you start focusing on them you end up competing with people, rather than complementing that person you're married to or that friend of yours.
What causes this? It is pure and simple selfishness. The truth is I'm naturally self-centered and so are you. For instance: If I were to take a picture of your family, who would you look for first? If you look good in the picture, it's a great picture. If you're cross-eyed and your fingers up your nose, it's a terrible picture. It doesn't matter if everyone else looks good, if it's good of me, it's good, if it's bad of me, it's bad.
Do you want to restore the joy in your relationship? Get the focus off yourself and get it back on other people in the relationship.
James 3:16 (TEV), "Where there is jealousy or selfishness, there is also disorder and every other kind of evil." In other words, you can't be joyful and jealous at the same time. Selfishness undermines relationships. Get the focus off yourself.
Just a thought from the front porch…