Connecting with others in a meaningful way, or should I say, in a way that is meaningful to them, is the key to enjoying your relationships.

So, how do you do this? By being OTHERS-CENTERED!

The way I like to say it is with the acrostic J.O.Y.

Jesus first. Others second. You third.

This is the complete opposite of our normal tendency. But the Bible clearly says that rotten relationships come from self-centeredness.

“Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn’t it because you are full of selfish desires…?” James 4:1 CEV

“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” James 3:16

That is why we must be determined to live others-centered lives.

The truth is:

The less self-centered you become, and the more others-centered you become, the better your relationships will be.

Some might say that being God-centered is the key, and that is true, but:

The proof that you are God-centered is that you are others-centered.

Jesus said it this way:

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 NLT

The entire Bible is about relationships, which means all of life is.

God stressed this point with me one night in a dream. I dreamt that I was sitting around the dinner table with my family and I was teaching them about being “others-centered”. God had never given me a dream like that before so this one topic must be very, very important to Him.

The big theological text for this is Philippians 2:1-11, where it describes how Jesus came down from the beauty of heaven to a sin-filled, fallen and broken world to allow Himself to be mocked, spit on, falsely accused, and crucified – FOR YOU AND ME. Then rose from the dead to make a way for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Now THAT’S being others-centered!

Then it says that to be like Jesus we are to not only look out for our own interests, but also for the interests of others.

I have found that one of the best tools to do this with is “The 5 Love Languages”. (Jesus communicated in all 5 of these languages)

They are:

Words of Affirmation. Time Spent. Physical Touch. Acts of Service. And Gifts.

You can apply these by using the “3 Ds”:

  1. Discover Their Language.

How? Just ask them!

Just by asking them you will be adding value to them. PLUS, you won’t miss the mark!

I have a friend who bought his wife a $5k ring. She was thankful but, in his mind, not nearly $5k worth! But then the next week he helped her clean the blinds and you would have thought he had hung the moon! If he took the time to find out what her love language was it would have saved him a lot of money!

(It is also important to communicate to them what language you speak. If someone wanted to connect with you, what language should they speak? Do they know it? Have you told them or are you making them guess?

  1. Define the Terms!

For example, Physical Touch probably means something completely different to the husband than to the wife! Once you find out their love language, ask them to define it for you!

  1. Do it!

I encourage you this week to ask those around you what their love language is, then do one thing that hits the mark.

I promise you if you will take the time and energy to do these three simple steps your relationships will begin to improve dramatically.

John

p.s. If you would like to listen to this entire message click here