Bill’s Book Chapter 7 – Relationships With Others
I wrote this book below to have it published but decided to put it on my website instead to share it with anyone interested. May it be a blessing to you as you read it. ~ Bill Greguska
Chapter 1 – My Letter To The Lord
Chapter 2 – It Starts With Me
Chapter 3 – God’s Plan
Chapter 4 – God’s Way
Chapter 5 – God Answers Prayers
Chapter 6 – Faith During Hard Times
Chapter 7 – Relationship With Others
Chapter 8 – Love Is The Answer
Chapter 9 – Victory Over Evil
Chapter 10 – Heaven Is Our Home
Chapter 11 – Emotions Are Interesting
Chapter 12 – Recovery
RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS
Accepting People The Way They Are
Are You A Good Friends?
At Peace with Everyone
Best Friends Are A Special Gift
Choose Our Friends Wisely
Good Friends Are Priceless
Hearts Can Turn Cold
Helping The Elderly
Marriage Is Forever
Overcome Peer Pressure
Positive And Negative People
Scares From Divorce
The Value of Money
Words Are Powerful
1. Good Friends Are Priceless
Lord, I have been wise to take an inventory of my friendships and make a point of it to acknowledge the good friends that you blessed me with by giving them a call on the phone to chat or to make plans to get together. Without good friends, we do not have that much at all. God created us to be social creatures. I am learning to guard my time and use it wisely to keep track of my good friends and have balance in my life.
Lord, I thank you for all the friends that you have put into my life over the many years…
Help me take care of my friendship, and give us the wisdom to realize friends can let us down and disappoint us, and at the same time, they are such a wonderful blessing. I have found that forgiveness is the reset button when a friendship has blown a fuse. We thank you, Lord, for each person you have put in my lives that I call my friends. I have also learned never to forget that people are always more important than things. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Ranking among the greatest Christmas movie classics, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ tells a beautiful story about the priceless value of relationships. ~ John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, pastor, coach, and author.
2. Best Friends Are A Special Gift
Lord, I try to make sure that I count my blessings every day. You have blessed me with several good friends over the years. One of the best friends I ever had in my life was my mom, beside her, I would say, Sister Sue Sauer, who both have been excellent friends who have always have taken time for me and pointed me to you, Lord. There have also been a few others who I also consider precious too. I noticed that all my best friends had two things in common; they all loved you, Lord; they loved and cared about me. I could feel free to be myself with them, and they all pointed me to you, Lord, not away from you, Lord.
Lord, you have blessed me in so many ways. I thank you for blessing me with friends I can spend time with, walk together in our journey in life, grow with, and enjoy…
I have learned that to have a friend, and I must be a friend. Lord, please help each of us to be the best friend back to those we consider to be our best friends. Others, like strangers, are just friends that I have not yet met. I have learned that just like roses have thorns, relationships have pains of their own. I have also have learned that it is vital to make it a higher priority to treat my friends right and attempt to make a difference in their life too.1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down. ~ Arnold H. Glasow is very witty, yet sometimes cynical truisms inspire.
3. Respecting Others
Lord, I try to treat others with as much respect and love as I can. One of the two most important commandments is to love God with my whole heart, mind, and soul, and the other is to love others as I would want to be loved myself. That fact right there indicated the importance of loving and respecting others. Without respect or love for one another, there is not much more we can base our relationships upon. Lord, I have discovered that self-control never speaks out of anger, or acts out of fear, or makes choices without patience. I need your help by putting your hand over my mouth because my mouths cause so much damage. One of the biggest hindrances I have found in my life that steals peace and happiness from me is trying to get along with others.
Lord, help me to respect and love one another more and more each day…
Please help me to show respect to others, even those people who are disrespectful to me, or even people with different or opposing backgrounds concerning politics, religion, or any differences we come across. Sometimes my natural reaction might be to push back or repay evil with evil, help me from falling into that temptation. Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
I’ve always said that: We as black people, if you want respect, you have to give each other respect. You can’t demand respect from white people and the cops if we don’t respect each other. ~ Charles Barkley established himself as one of the National Basketball Association’s most dominant power forwards.
4. Helping Others
Lord, I consciously for many years have tried to be more aware of how I treat others better; hopefully, I can treat others the way we would want to be treated myself with respect, kindness, and understanding. I need to remember that others have helped me, and it is a beautiful way to pay back others as often as I can, by helping others, help me Lord to be your hands and feet. Sometimes a listening ear, or spending time with someone is just what they need. I have learned that random acts of kindness are always welcome with most people. I need to stop and ask myself, “Do I have confidence in you Lord to help me try to encourage someone who needs help?”
Lord, please help make me more willing and available to help those who need my help…
Please help me to be wise to know what to do and what not to do. Give me wisdom Lord to know how to help others with their specific personal needs that come once I get to know them. Help me to know what to say that will point them to you, Lord. Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day. ~ John Wooden won ten NCAA national championships in 12 years as head coach at UCLA.
5. Encouraging Others
Lord, please help me to love others whole heatedly, and to be always real with others because people know when I don’t seem genuine if I am pretending to be kind or friendly in any way. Help me to treat others with the respect that I would like to be treated. Help me try to go out of my way to say or do something encouraging or helpful to everyone I meet, this I believe, will, in time become, a regular habit that I will be glad I started. Sometimes just a word of hope is what someone needs in their life, other times a small act of kindness is required, even a smile can change someone’s day, and I can have the honor to be the one who provides it to them through your Holy Spirit. Also, taking time to listen and be there for others cost nothing, but it is so precious, never let me forget this.
Lord, please help me make it a part of my everyday life to figure out ways to build up and encourage others with my words and with my deeds…
I also need to remind others that fear is focusing on those things that often never happen. Please, Lord, help me be a light in areas where there is darkness or pain. Help us to love others as you have loved me. I ought to ask myself, “What is the best way I have discovered to make someone else feel important?” Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
If we all take the time to listen and love each other, this world would be a better place. ~ Michael Edward Love is an American singer and songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys.
6. Words Are Powerful
Lord, I try always to be respectfully conscience that I am very aware of how I speak to others; I know that my words can build up or tear down. I try to be an encouragement to everyone I come in contact with, even in the smallest ways it can be helpful beyond measure to someone who needs a kind word in their day. Lord, you have blessed me with a very great sense of humor, so in that case, I can share a joke or story with someone, or a kind word of encouragement, or even a simple smile. I am convinced that I need to think before I speak, especially when I am upset or angry, because any fool can say what is on their mind, but a person ought to know when to be quiet and when to say something, and also what to say.
Lord, many people are going through challenging situations in their life, show me how I can help to lighten their load with kind words or deeds today…
Help me not only treat others the way I would like to be treated but also speak life into them with your positive words. Lord, please help me to realize that what comes out of my mouths genuinely reflect what is in my heart. Also, Lord, help me to think more wisely and more clearly before I speak, to figure out if it is first of all, true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, or kind, and ask myself, “How can I make my words lift others? Or if I can not build them up, then Lord, please help me to be quiet.” Proverbs 10:20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken. ~ Orson Scott Card is an American novelist, critic, public speaker, essayist, and columnist.
7. Helping The Elderly
Lord, I know without a doubt that you want me to love others. You put a high value on family, so I need to do all I can do to help and be there for family members. In my case, especially my elderly parents, both of them, but specifically my mom, who passed away at age 94, I took care of my mom for the last eight years of her life. It was an honor for me to do that for her. Lord, she was so good to me during my life. It was especially meaningful to me since she specifically requested not to go into a nursing home. All I needed to do was to pray about it, and then wait until you Lord nudge me to do, which was to take care of her. I think it is essential to make sure I found out my mom’s wishes, and then I just tried to fulfill her requests for the end of their life according to their personal preferences.
Lord, you instruct me to honor my father and mother in your word, yet you did not specify any time limits…
I believe you built it into my conscience to want to help and love one another, and especially those who are disabled, elderly, like my parents, both were. Let me hold on to your promise to live long in the land. Lord, when the challenge came up for me to help my mom stay living at home, it was an honor to be able to do so. Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Everybody gets sick; everybody has had a problem with insurance or the prescription drugs they’re supposed to be taking or an elderly parent who needs care. ~ Michael Moore is an American documentary filmmaker and author.
8. Overcome Peer Pressure
Lord, I trust that you can and will guard my heart against peer pressure no matter what age I am at present. Lord, I have seen that peer pressure comes from the need to be accepted by others, a person can be ten years old or even 60 years old, but describe peer pressure as doing something that I would not want to do if there was no pressure on me at all. Please help me to use my wisdom from you to fight any attempt to be tricked into peer pressure by others or even my flesh or the devil. Of what importance is it to have others like and accept me if I know in my heart that I am doing wrong?
Lord, please guard my heart against anything that would dishonor you in any way…
Keep the arrows from the evil one from hitting me by your protective armor. If it is not from you, Lord, keep us far from me and make things clear for me to understand. I once heard that a clear conscience makes a soft pillow, so Lord, please do not let anyone steer me wrong. Think about what proactive strategy that I can imagine to help myself combat peer pressure in my life. Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
At the end of the day, just know that God made you, so you can be your own individual, and don’t let people give you that peer pressure. ~ Wyclef Jean is a Haitian rapper, musician, and actor.
9. Choose Friends Wisely
Lord, I know it is good to try to be friends with everyone I meet, but in doing so, I need to make sure that I am wise by guarding my heart. Everyone friendly towards us can not be considered to be our friend. It is so good to take time to get to know our friends, because they do influence your life, either for positive or for sometimes negative, or sometimes a blend of both. Lord, I know you intend for me to be friendly towards everyone, and I will be able to know who to consider your real friends. I have loved this poem since I was young, “Make new friends, keep the old. The new are silver, and the old are gold.”
Lord, I know that I need friends, but more importantly, I need friends that can be there to cheer me on, lift me, be honest with me, walk with me, and be a good friend…
I also pray that I can be that type of friend to others too. Lord, I need to ask myself, “How do I determine if I should be friends with someone?” Help me, Lord, to be wise in choosing my friends. My boundaries are set by what I value in my life, and to have limitations are an excellent thing to keep out bad, and keep in good. Lord, I know you think it is wise to think about how much consideration do you put into picking, developing, and maintaining my friendships? Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Fate chooses our relatives. We choose our friends. ~ Jacques Delille was a French poet and translator.
10. The Value of Money
Lord, as I keep in mind that people are much more valuable than money or things, that is so very valuable to be conscious of. I understand that money is simply a tool to be used to purchase goods and services to fill both our needs and wants in life. Lord, I tried my best to explain to both my kids that there is a time to save, and a time to spend, most of the time we ought to try to save, but there are times that it is okay to spend wisely. I am so glad that I have to a degree learn the importance of having an open palm when it comes to money, that is the answer, to not hold on too tightly, or on the other hand too foolishly to hold on too loosely.
Lord, money and provision, and all things come from you help me to be a good steward of the money and things that you have blessed me with…
Please give us the wisdom to know how to use money wisely. Remind me, Lord, that relationships are priceless, and that money can be replaced relatively easily, although people can not be replaced in the same way as a thing can be replaced. Mark 10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
I haven’t been as wild with my money as somebody like me might have been. I’ve been very safe, very conservative with investments. I don’t blow money, I don’t have a ton of houses, I know things can go away. I’ve already had that experience. ~ James Carrey is an actor, comedian, impressionist, screenwriter, and artist.
11. Positive And Negative People
Lord, I believe that it is wise to be more concerned about how I treat my friends because I have control over that, sometimes people can be very harmful and even draining on me at times if I allow that to happen. Lord, you know that throughout my life, I had many best friends, plus several others who had stuck close to me over the years and have lifted me when I needed it, which I am very grateful for. There are others who I called friends, but just got me in trouble and dragged me down who I had let go of.
Lord, we are all made in your image, yet we live in a fallen world…
Help me pick my friends wisely and use the word friend in a more meaningful way. Show me how you want me to love others in specific and practical ways, although I realize that kindness is challenging to give away because it keeps coming back to us. Lord, help give me insight and discernment to know who our real friends are. Lord, I think it will prove to be insightful if I ask myself if I love the people who are detrimental to me the way I would want to be loved when I am a negative mood? Proverbs 22:24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered.
If a negative atmosphere pervades where you live or work, go elsewhere. Seek out friends, business associates, and mentors with positive attitudes who share your goals and best interests. Richard Marvin DeVos Sr. was an American billionaire and owner of the Orlando Magic basketball team.
12. Are You A Good Friend?
Lord, I thank you for letting me understand that a stranger is just a friend I have not met yet. I enjoy my friendships and appreciate my friends and family and anyone the Lord puts in my path to help whenever I can. Lord, you know that there are times I need encouragement, and I thank you that you have put good friends in my life to help me in hard times. Lord, friendship is a two-way street, and I need to be sure I treat my friends with much love and respect as possible. I need to remember to guard my friendships because they often have taken years to develop and can take only a few minutes to destroy.
Lord, If I go through my entire life and I have a hand full of terrific genuine friends who would go through thick and thin with me, then I have lived a full life…
Lord, please help me to practice be good friends with everyone I meet every day. Some days can be harder to be friendly, but I pray that you equip me, Lord, with what I need to show love and respect to all people at all times. Lord, when my friends do thoughtful things for me like a birthday card, phone call, email, text, or simply making time for me and showing kindness to me, it so beautiful. It makes me want to do that for others just the same. Luke 10:33-34 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
I am convinced that material things can contribute a lot to making one’s life pleasant, but, basically, if you do not have very good friends and relatives who matter to you, life will be really empty and sad and material things cease to be important. ~ John D. Rockefeller estimated the value of Rockefeller’s fortune at its peak is at $318.3 billion.
13. Marriage Is Forever
Lord, I pray that the popularity of divorce would simply fade away and that marriages would make a great comeback. Lord, you know that I strongly encourage everyone married to stay married, even if their marriage is a little on the rocky right now. I also encourage everyone to strengthen their marriages so they too can remain married until death do them part. I believe that a good marriage would be of a man and woman who put their vows ahead of their wants, needs, and agenda. Lord, you meant it more to be like two best friends under the umbrella of your protection working as one, and divorce not even as an option or also thought of, and downright forbidden to mention. I believe that to stay married, a person needs to understand what a good marriage looks like in the first place.
Lord, the divorce rate has gotten insane over the years…
Now, even Christians are getting divorced at a pretty high rate too. Lord, please guard, all married couples, and strengthen them with your Holy Spirit to stay the course until death do they part. Nudge the hearts of those who are thinking of being married. I pray that they will grow to learn what to expect and how to navigate through the tough times they are bound to go through. Nobody plans to fail in marriage, but some marriages fail because they fail to plan. The way I grew up when you’re married, you have to stay married together. All should honor Hebrews 13:4 Marriage, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
The way I grew up when you’re married, you have to stay married together. ~ Cathy Moriarty, American actress, and singer.
14. Hearts Can Turn Cold
Lord, I feel that when it comes to marriage, if a person is married, they ought not even to say or think the word divorce. Lord, I believe that the same holds true if a person is planning to get married. I believe that our government system ought to make it so much harder to get married than it is, and so much harder to get divorced than it is, which is my idea to keep people married. Lord. It is an epidemic in our society, the so-called easy way out, which opens the door for even more problems and permanent scars in one’s life. Lord, you created marriage, and we ought not to tear it apart because a couple is not getting along well for a while, that is why we have you, Lord, to lean on and direct our steps, you are the third strand in the strand of three in marriage. Also, others that you put into my life to guide and counsel us when we need help.
Lord, help me to put my spouse if I ever get married again, ahead of our wants and needs, please help all the other men to love their wife, and have the wife respect their husband…
I pray that your will be carried out, not our selfish self-centered will be done, and please give us more patients and more understanding to untangle the complicated situations I get myself into. It is hard for me to understand that even though you are in control, Lord, Satan is still out to break up marriages, and for Satan, the more broken marriages, the better. Matthew 19:8-9 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
The most tremendous judgment of God in this world is the hardening of the hearts of men. ~ John Owen was a nonconformist church leader from the University of Oxford.
15. At Peace With Everyone
Lord, I know that I always try to get along with everyone as far as it depends on me. Yet, I have learned that having similar goals in mind, cooperation, respect, effort, are all desirable characteristics in having peace with others like functioning on a good sports team. Let peace begin with me, and I pray that others are like-minded. Lord, I find it interesting that our silence can be misinterpreted, but never be misquoted.
Lord, there are times when getting along with others can become very difficult…
Please help me to care about others enough so that I can live in peace with everyone, help me to love others the way I would want to be treated, although at the same time, that I always guard my heart. Lord, please let peace be my daily goal as far as it depends on me because I know Lord, that lasting peace comes from you and flows through you and me.1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
It was Jesus who gave me peace when the shark severed my arm. I trust in Jesus whenever I’m going through a hard time. I see all the beautiful things that have come out of my situation. I’m able to share my story with young girls who have few role models, and I can help others cope with what they have been through. ~ Beth Hamilton professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off but who ultimately returned to professional surfing.
16. Scares From Divorce
Lord, I was thinking back, and I recall when I was going through my divorce that I did not want, my brother Tom Greguska talked with me. He pointed out that I did all I could do to keep the marriage alive, and he wisely advised me to turn the page and focus on putting past hurts in the past where they belong and start new chapters in my life. Lord, I am so glad I took his advice, I know that breaking up can be very hard to do, my divorce was excruciating like no other pain I have ever experienced. I believe that any breakup of a relationship that was once close can be painful.
Lord, I pray for all the couples who have gone through a divorce…
I also pray for all the children and family and friends affected by the divorce too. Lord, please help couples stay together to work out their problems instead of running from each other. Lord, I pray that if someone is considering marriage, please make sure they do extensive premarital counseling because divorce is like the ripping apart of one flesh into two. The worst thing is that it is usually so very preventable.
Lord, I am moving forward, I need to ask you, “What are some things on my part that I can do to avoid any relationships from ending, especially a marriage?” Please give me wisdom and understanding of this question. Psalms 6:3 My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it. ~ John Lennon was a singer, songwriter and peace activist who was rhythm guitarist of the Beatles
17. Accepting People The Way They Are
Lord, I have found that accepting and loving others is such an essential quality, but it is sometimes overlooked. Although that does not mean you condone what others say or always do. Lord, I accept other people’s flaws because I have many of them myself. My sister Pat always told me to accept others, but it took me a while to figure that out for myself. Again, allowing others who have different lifestyles, religions, customs, and beliefs can be a good thing, unless if their ways pull you away from Jesus Christ in any way. I like the scripture in Romans 12:18. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Lord, you have taught me to love one another…
Loving one another has to do with accepting one another for who they are (during this season of their life). We might not like or agree with what they do, say, or stand for, but Lord, you want us to love, respect, and accept them. They are all sinners just like I am, yet since I have you, Lord and I have hope, and I pray that others are on their way to be saved too. Lord, you call us to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges, so please remind me to be sure we stay in your own lane. Lord, I hear you nudging me to think about, “Do I want others to accept me, then am I willing to accept others?” Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Too often in life, something happens, and we blame other people for us not being happy or satisfied or fulfilled. So the point is, we all have choices, and we make the choice to accept people or situations or to not accept situations. ~ Tom Brady Jr. NFL football quarterback for the New England Patriots.