Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.
Healing A Broken Relationship
“If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God” (Matthew 5:23-24 NIV).
One thing that is as certain as death and taxes is that others will let us down. This can take many forms such as someone not living up to their end of an agreement, spreading gossip or taking advantage of our friendship. It is natural to be offended in these situations. In contrast, the Bible says: “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11).
God considers our relationships with others to be of vital importance. In fact, we are told to restore our broken relationships before worship. God desires our hearts more than anything and He knows that if we are in conflict with another person then our heart is not receptive to the Word. We are instructed in Matthew 5:23-24, “If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.”
God clearly wants us to take the initiative to heal a broken relationship. This desire is regardless if you are the offender or the offended. Procrastination or waiting for the other person to make the first move will not work. This will only serve to deepen the resentment. Time heals many things — but not a broken relationship.
It is also important to act quickly to reduce the spiritual damage to yourself. The Bible tells us that unresolved conflict blocks our fellowship with God and keeps our prayers from being answered. This is why Jesus commands us to restore our broken relationships before we worship. Job’s friends reminded him, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do,” (Job 5:2) and, “You are only hurting yourself with your anger,” (Job 18:4). It has often been said that when you forgive someone, the prisoner you set free is yourself.
So, how do I resolve my conflict? First, pray for God’s guidance and His words and His ears as you enter into the meeting with the other. Pray for the other person. The best meetings that yield the best fruit happen when all parties are at their best. So, avoid a meeting time in which either of you are rushed, tired, sick, distracted, or likely to be interrupted. If your one-on-one meeting is unsuccessful then bring in a third party to help you resolve the conflict. Matthew 18:16 teaches, “But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that “every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Jesus felt so strongly about resolving the conflict that he even offered another more extreme option if the meeting with the third party was unsuccessful. “If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17).
As for myself, there’s no question that the bottom line is summed up in Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Sometimes we have done all we can do, and we move on and pray God’s blessing be on the other person.
Prayer: Dear God, Help us to forgive others as You have forgiven us. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
We welcome your comments below.
Liked this post?
Read more below or search for more topics...
True Confession of the Heart: My Hatred Is Strong “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them” (1 John 2:9-11 NIV).Holy Scripture encourages us to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16). I have a confession to make. I have...
Use Your Words to Build Up the Body of Christ "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof" (Proverbs 18:21 KJV).We all say things that we regret and wish we could take back. Our words will invariably hurt somebody’s feelings and cause pain. Proverbs 18:21 tells us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue; And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” The tongue is a symbol of life or death “Our words can be used to share the Good News with others or tear...
Know Your Enemy "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12 NIV). Coaches of all sports will study game film of their upcoming opponent. Their goal is to understand their opponent and the better you understand them, the better you make the necessary adjustments and preparation to defeat your opponent. It’s much the same in the game of life. We often mistakenly label our neighbor as our enemy when they are not our enemy...