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.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • Do You Know A Proverbs 31 Woman? I Do!

    Do You Know A Proverbs 31 Woman? I Do! “When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the LORD, and the LORD will pay you back” (Proverbs 19:17 GNT). Scripture is full of stories of women that have played essential roles in advancing the work of our Lord.  These prominent women include the Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, Miriam the prophetess, Deborah the judge, Huldah the prophetess, Rahab, Esther, and many more.  Many of these women are recognized in the Faith Hall of Fame found in Hebrews 11. Proverbs 31 describes the many virtues of Godly woman.  The Proverbs 31 woman can be commended for all the wonderful things she...
  • Not Happy?

    Not Happy? “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance" (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NIV).A recent Harris poll reported that in 2017 only 33% of Americans are happy.  A first reaction might be that only 33% are true followers of Jesus.  Christianity is the most adhered to religion in the United States, with 75% of polled American adults identifying themselves as Christian in 2015.Upon deeper reflection I realize that not all Christians are happy, nor should they be. ...
  • Approach Prayer With Confidence And Thanksgiving

    Approach Prayer With Confidence And Thanksgiving Prayer is an essential component to our relationship with God. We offer prayers for those who are sick or in need of help and prayers of thanksgiving for our blessings. Prayer is also a time for us to be quiet and listen for the gentle voice of God. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” We all would be wise to focus on this promise while we wait on the Lord."Even if I don’t hear a response to my prayer, I can still come away with peace...