Pause

Some pride themselves on being rule-followers. Others see rules as made to be broken.

Think of these “Rules for Relationships” like a ruler – helping us get things straight, connecting two points, allowing us to be level and aligned.

When it comes to loving one another, God knows we need every tool we can get!

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Listen

Lord, teach me what your statutes are about, and I will guard every part of them. Help me understand so I can guard your Instruction and keep it with all my heart. Lead me on the trail of your commandments because that is what I want. Turn my heart to your laws, not to greedy gain. Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things. Make me live by your way. Confirm your promise to your servant— the promise that is for all those who honor you. Remove the insults that I dread because your rules are good. Look how I desire your precepts! Make me live by your righteousness.

Psalm 119:33-40

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Think

Today’s closing scripture is a longer one. It’s part of the longest Psalm in the Bible, a song centered on the value of God’s word. All our “rules for relationships” so far come together in these final words. The Psalmist asks for guidance and teaching, for understanding and an unselfish heart.

The prayer that stands out to me is verse 37: “Make me live by your way” – or as another translation says, “Give me life in your ways.” What is true of relationships is true of life in general – we are most alive when we’re walking the way of God’s love. Trust in this. Seek the heart of Jesus and believe that the Spirit of God will steer you towards how best to live among the friends, family, classmates, coworkers, and neighbors who surround you.

Elsewhere God says, “Choose life, that you may live.” If each of your interactions is an opportunity to give life or death, blessings or curses, keep choosing life. May God bless you as you go!

Cari Pattison

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Pray

Dear God, thank you for reminding me that your way leads to life. Guide me to be the kind of friend, relative, and neighbor that you want me to be. May my life be a blessing to others, a joy for me to live, and a story that makes you smile. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Go

Being human together can be hard.
Be gentle with yourself.
Be generous to others.

Love might require effort.
It might mean saying “no.”
It might include “I’m sorry,”
or “I don’t know.”

And when it comes down to it, loving your neighbor as yourself simply means paying attention to what you feel and need and offering the same to another person.

Go in love,
and God be with you.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison is a Presbyterian (PC USA) pastor, soon to start a new ministry call in the Mid-Hudson Valley region (NY). She spent the past year thru-hiking two-thirds of the Appalachian Trail and learning a lot about gear, birdcalls, and broken ankles. Originally from Kansas City, she loves both the flatland prairies of the Great Plains and the rolling mountains of the Northeast, and loves how Jesus comes to find you no matter where you go.

It Is Well With My Soul

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