Joyce Meyer - How to Have Successful Relationships
Welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life", and thank you for being with us today. I think what I'm gonna share today is gonna help every person who hears it. How to get along with people, or actually I'm gonna call it, "How to have successful relationships". You know, let's start by saying people are everywhere. There's just a lot of people, and they're not all like you, and they don't all do things that you like. How many of you have noticed that some of the people you're around, do a bunch of stuff you don't like? Well, guess what? You also do a bunch of stuff that somebody else doesn't like. The key to getting along with people, and this is gonna be the main, the main thing that you want to not forget today, is to treat other people the way you want to be treated. The Bible calls it the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
Now, just think about that. Oh, my gosh how wonderful the world would be, if everybody did that. Well, you know, Christians especially should be able to do it, but we're not even all that good at it. It's so tempting to want to do to somebody else, what they're doing to you. But do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. Be quick to forgive. Boy, if you're gonna get mad every time somebody does something you don't like and hold on to it, you're gonna be so full of pain and misery... Quick to forgive. Difficult to offend. The Bible says, "Love is not touchy". Amen? Believe the best.
All the answers are in the Bible. Love always believes the best of every person, it's not suspicious. "Well, you meant to do that", you know, a lot of times when people hurt your feelings, I would probably say, most of the time when people hurt your feelings, they don't even know they did it. You know, maybe, you were just having a touchy day. Maybe, that day you were wearing all your emotions on your sleeve, or you were tired. How many of you know that sometimes even just when you're tired, things can affect you differently. And be merciful, give people mercy. The Bible says that, "Mercy always triumphs over judgement".
I wonder how many people are watching right now, by TV, and you've got at least two people in your life you need to forgive, maybe more. It is truly one of the biggest problems that we have. You can't love somebody and hate them at the same time. Let that anger go. The Bible says, "Don't let the sun set on your anger, don't give the devil any such foothold". Wow. Don't approach relationships any longer, for what the other person can do for you, instead, approach every relationship from the foundation of being a servant and a blessing.
What about if in every marriage, each person would get up every morning, and in their prayer time say, "God show me what I can do for my wife, today", "Show me what I can do for my husband, today". How about that? Or before you come to work, "Father show me how I can be a blessing to the people that I work with today. Show me who I can compliment, show me who needs to be encouraged, show me what I have that I'm not even using, that somebody else at my office desperately needs".
We need to think more outreach-minded rather than, "What are you gonna do for me"? And one of the things that gets us in trouble with relationships, is thinking about, what you don't do for me, instead of what you do for me, and that can especially be an issue in a marriage. Let your relationships be an area where you glorify God, by treating people the way you believe Jesus would treat them. Now, I've got one, two, three, four, five scriptures, I'm gonna read you real quick here. Matthew 7:12, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends".
Now, right away, we're getting into that, let's be unselfish, thing. Laying down your life means not necessarily doing what you want, or what would be good for you, but doing what somebody else wants, or what'll be good for them. And I don't know about you, maybe you're a lot further along spiritually than I am, I'm sure a lot of you are, but I have to do this on purpose. It's not something that my flesh just says, "Oh goodie! Let's see how much we can give away and who all we can help today". But I believe as far as defeating the devil, who is our enemy, and who attacks us and comes against us, I believe that walking in love, really walking in love, with people is the highest form of spiritual warfare that you can do. And I really imagine, if we really walked in love, the devil wouldn't have too much that he can do to us. Amen?
1 Corinthians 13:5, says, "Love seeks not her own". 1 Corinthians 10:24, "Let no one then seek his own good and advantage and profit, but rather each one of the other let him seek the welfare of his neighbor". Man, they're some of the best scriptures in the Bible. Do you know the answer to every problem we have, is in the Word of God? And I mean, I believe that 100%. If we actually, took the things that we hear, and actually did them... As I tell people all the time, having it underlined in your Bible, doesn't mean you're doing it. Philippians 2:4, "Let each of you esteem", that means value and respect, "And look upon and be concerned for not merely his own interests, but also each for the interest of others".
Now, that, doesn't say that you can't care about yourself, but that's not the only thing that we should care about. Come on, this is gotta be hitting home with somebody. And then one of my favorite in the amplified Bible, Mark 8 34, "If anyone intends to follow Christ", how many of you are Christ followers? Well, here's what you have to do, "Let him deny himself, forget himself, disown himself, lose sight of himself and all of his own interests, but live for the interests of others". Hmm, see, here's the thing, it sounds like man, "That would really be a bummer life". To just give up everything, and not do what I want, and not think about myself, and just live my whole life to make other people happy.
But here's the thing, if anyone would ever dare to do that, God would take such great care of them. There would be nothing that you would want or need that God wouldn't supply for you, if you stop trying to get it all for yourself, and instead do for other people. How many have room to improve? Me too. Build more windows and fewer walls. You know, the minute that somebody hurts you or offends you, if you're sensitive, you can feel like this little invisible wall go up, because we want to protect ourselves. We don't want to get hurt again. But here's the fact, you can't love people if you're not willing to get hurt. There's no relationship that you can have, where you won't get hurt sometimes, or somebody will disappoint you. That's why we need to be quick to forgive, merciful, believe the best.
And see, you're not responsible really, for how somebody treats you, you're only responsible for how you respond. And if we respond properly, God will take care of and deal with the other person. God brings vengeance into our life, and he's our recompense and our reward. How many of you think that God could take better care of you, than you can take of yourself? Well, if you really believe it, then why don't you put it to a test in your life? Mmm-hmmm... Different story. Learn to be a little more transparent with people. We usually don't do so because we fear rejection. But if a person rejects us for being honest about ourselves, then they would never be a good friend, anyway. If you have to be a people-pleaser, doing everything the other person wants you to do in order to gain their friendship, you will always have to do the same thing to keep their friendship. And eventually, you're gonna get tired of it and not want to do that anymore. It's impossible to be what every person in our life wants us to be, so we should decide to be ourselves.
I've got a new statement that I'm gonna be using, "Stop saying, 'yes', if your heart is screaming, 'no.' be authentic, take off your masks, stop pretending and be real". Be totally honest with people, simultaneously using wisdom, and that's very important. Being honest doesn't mean that you have to give your opinion on every subject that comes up, "Well, I'm just being honest", well, no, that lacks wisdom. The Bible says, "Only a fool speaks out all of his opinions". It doesn't mean that you tell a friend everything about yourself, some things should be kept just between you and God. Amen? Don't be what I call a, "Gusher". You say, "What's that"? Most people are gonna flee from people who tell somebody their whole, entire life story, with all the details, a few minutes after meeting them.
I mean, I had the weirdest experience. I was in a nail shop in Florida, getting my nails done, and I was sitting at this little table getting my nails dried, and there was another elderly woman, I say elderly, because I'm sure she must have been older than me. She was sitting there. And you know, I just have to be plain to tell you this, but within two to three minutes, she's telling me how dissatisfied she is with her sex life with her husband, because he's getting old. And I'm like, "Uh, excuse me". Now, that's what I would call a, "Gusher", right? We don't need to be quite that honest, all right? There's some things you need to keep to yourself. Marilyn like that one.
Don't be honest to the point of stuff like this, "When I first met you, I didn't like you at all. That color really does not look good on you". "I think I might have seen your husband with another woman the other day". Well, if it's you, "Think", you, "Might", then that's not credible enough to go maybe ruining somebody's relationship. So, some people if you tell 'em to be honest, they're just not smart enough to know how to use wisdom at the same time. So, being honest and you know, really open with people, doesn't mean that you tell them everything you think. And you know, now, there are some relationships where maybe people invite you into their life.
I have a friend who says, "I'm not really great at fashion, so, if I have something on that doesn't look good on me, I'm giving you permission to tell me. I want you to tell me". Well, that's another story, but if somebody hasn't done that then you wanna be careful. Don't be afraid to show genuine emotion. I like this, don't say, "So long", when what you really mean is, "I'm going to miss you a lot, because you mean a lot to me". Come on, men. Seems to be harder for men to do this, then even women. We're a little more emotional. "I'm really gonna miss you". Don't let a feeling of embarrassment keep you from giving somebody a compliment, because you're afraid that they might reject it. It's amazing how friendly somebody feels toward you, when you give 'em a compliment.
I saw a woman the other day, I didn't know her, she just was in a place where I was at. And when I looked at her, I thought that her hair color is really pretty. So, I've learned when I think things like that, to say them. And if I think, "That outfit you have on looks stupid", I don't say that. And don't be a pusher. Reach out and then notice how your affection is received, then move forward or stop depending on the signals you receive. Let's just say that you're a big talker. But you're trying to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk to somebody who wants to be quiet.
Learn how to read other people's body language, and the signals they're giving you, and don't just want to do what you want to do all the time, but do what the other person wants you. Stop trying to give people what you need, and find out what they need, and give them what they need. Buying gifts for people is a great example. How many of you get things given to you, and you think, "Why in the world would somebody think I would want this"? You know why? Because they liked it, and it's what they would want, and so they wanted you to have it. And it really shows a greater measure of love, like...
I remember a pastor here in town, he wanted to give me a gift and he actually called my assistant, and said, "What kind of things does Joyce like? Or what would she need now"? And I thought that was so thoughtful, because most people are just gonna send you something and that's good, they were thinking of you, they spent some money, but it's better to go just that extra, little step, and find out if they're actually going to enjoy what you're giving them. Now this, to me, is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible and I think it says so, so much. It's 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Paul said, "Though I'm free and belong to no one, I've made myself a slave to everyone".
Ya know, it's not something you need to do to be saved. But Paul said, "I'm free. I don't have to do this, but I'm making myself a servant, to everyone, to win as many as possible". Now, Paul is talking here about winning people to Christ, but even if we want to just apply this to winning friends, or being a great example of what it's like to be a Christian. "To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so I could win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law, (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak". I love that.
Somebody tells you, "Man, I just I've got this flu that's going around. And you know, I just feel absolutely terrible". You know, that might not be the time to say, "Well, you know what? That was coming on me last week, and I just prayed and God gave me a miracle". There's a time to give your testimony and a time to keep your mouth shut. And when somebody tells you what kind of, you know, that they're having a problem, what they need is compassion right then. And yeah, I mean, it's great to say, you know, "Can I pray with you? I believe God can do a miracle". But we just need to use more wisdom. "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that if by any means possible, I might save some".
Now, see, to me what that is, is okay, I'm the way I am and I can have the attitude, "Well, this is me, like it or lump it". Or I can say, "God, I want to be willing to adapt myself to whatever somebody else needs". You know, maybe I'm with a big talker, and I would rather they just be quiet, but maybe I sense that they just need to talk, so I can sit there ten minutes and I can listen. My daughter was coming out of a store, and there was traffic coming by, so she had to wait on the curbside before she could cross to go to her car. And an elderly man was standing there and he was a gusher. So, he started gushing, and he was just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, and she was busy, had a lot going on that day, and really didn't want to talk, but she sensed that he just needed somebody to talk to, that he was lonely, and she stood there 15 minutes and just let him talk.
And I think sometimes when we do things like that, it says more about our character, and says more to God than some of the things, that we think are great things, that we do. God cares about hurting people. What if we would do unto others, as we want them to do to us? Now, ya know, this is gonna be good for you, because for today, at least, your gonna be nicer. But you might ought to get the recording, and listen again tomorrow. Because our flesh is so strong. How many of you agree? This is just a challenging area, to not have yourself on your mind all the time. Quick to forgive, not easily offended, believe the best of every person, and be willing to adapt and adjust yourself for what other people need.
Now, you know, we could come to the other side of it and say, "Well, you know", like, I had one woman that, she actually was a relative, and she would call me three and four times a day. And I finally had to tell her, "This is just not working for me", and it hurt her feelings. But ya know, don't pick up the phone and call a busy person, just to say, "You should see the bird that's in the tree in my backyard". And that's the kind of stuff, ya know, people who just don't have anything better to do, we need to think about, even before we pick up the phone and call somebody, we need to think about, "Okay, I'm going to interrupt them, so, is this something they really need to hear right now? Or should I just save them one more ringing phone in their house"?
How many of you know that the world today is a pretty noisy place? If you can find a place to get some quiet, it's a blessing. I get up real early in the morning. I like to get up when it's still dark, and I get my coffee, and my cover, and my heating pad, when it's winter, which it is here, now, and I just tell God, "I love the quiet". I just love quiet. Some people want some noise going on around them all the time, but I guess if that's you, you're free to have your noise. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Little things make a big difference. Try saying please and thank you, especially to the people in your own home, those are the people we tend to take advantage of the most, the ones that we know have to put up with us.
A marriage was ending and the husband said, "The end started when we stop putting toothpaste on each other's toothbrush". Little things, little things can be great. Love is not possessive, and it's not controlling, it does not manipulate. Real quick list and then we're gonna have to close. Who do you not enjoy being friends with? Those who give you too much advice? Those who try to dominate? Those who try to control? Those who try to manipulate? Those who judge and criticize, they constantly have a criticism for you, and those who are easily angered or easily offended.
I'll tell ya it is tough for me, 'cause I'm pretty open and straightforward, to be around somebody that is extremely insecure, because my type of personality, I'm not going to be with them 10 minutes and they're gonna get their feelings hurt. And I just don't wanna just tiptoe around everybody all the time, you know trying to make sure that I don't hurt their feelings. But I will, if I have to. There's one more area, that's actually, really funny, and that's how do you communicate other than words, and one is touch. And they say that a woman needs 12 loving touches a day to be really healthy. And I said that in a meeting one time, and a woman looked at her husband and very loudly said, "You're killing me"!