A lof people wonder how they can become "free". Often, we wonder why we feel depressed, or miserable when we are alone. Many people I know cannot cope with being alone, in fact, they would do almost anything to not be. Take a gander at what Anthony DeMello had to say about how reliant we are on other people, in his book The Way To Love. .

Look at your life and see how you have filled its emptiness with people. As a result they have a stranglehold on you. See how they control your behavior by their approval and disapproval. They hold the power to ease your loneliness with their company, to send your spirits soaring with their praise, to bring you down to the depths with their criticism and rejection. Take a look at yourself spending almost every waking moment of your day placating and pleasing people, whether they are living or dead. You live by their norms, conform to their standards, seek their company, desire their love, dread their ridicule, long for their applause, meekly submit to the guilt they lay upon you; you are terrified to go against the fashion in the way you dress or speak or act or even think. And observe how even when you control them you depend on them and are enslaved by them. People have become so much a part of your being that you cannot even imagine living a life that is unaffected or uncontrolled by them.

That sort of gives new meaning to the idea that we desparately want to belong, doesn't it? And it is not wrong to want to belong. But so often with our lives and relationships, we approach things as if these relationships are the "end", and not a gift and pleasure given us from God. In other words, we make the relationships we have with people become more than what they really are. For some, the relationship may become life, while for others, it may become a possession. Still others will find that they are abused, and betrayed.

Yet inside, don't we want to rebel against such a thought? Haven't we been taught that relationships are good things? Of course we have, and of course they are. But unless we know Jesus and His love, I think our relationships will not be in a good position within our lives. Instead of being inner led, which is to be led by Christ, we end up outer-directed, which is to be led by circumstance and approval. That's not the healthiest way to live, especially if we draw our self-worth from our relationships with others.

So relationships are good, if they are rightly placed within our lives. But if our relationships with people control us, then sooner or later, let-downs, betrayals, and the winds of change will blow our neatly stacked house of relationship cards down.

There is only thing that will lead us to be free, even of control from others. That one thing is to know the love of Christ. Nothing else is well placed within our lives if we do not know that. The Kingdom of God is not just some far off Disney looking place with spires and diamonds in our future. The Kingdom of God brings true order into our lives, places "things" within their proper perspective, and frees us from judging circumstances and people based on outer appearances and feelings. In other words, seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you as well. Even good relationships with people.

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