Restoring Relationships: Take The Initiative
By Rick Warren
— May 21, 2014
“If you enter your place of worship and are about to make an offering, but 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 Msg).
The second biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to take the initiative.
It doesn't matter whether you are the offender or the offended, God expects you to make the first move. Don't wait for the other party. Go to them first.
Restoring broken fellowship is so important, Jesus commanded that it even take priority over group worship. He said, "If you enter your place of worship and are about to make an offering, but 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" (Matt. 5:23-24 Msg).
When fellowship is strained or broken, plan a peace conference immediately. Don't procrastinate, make excuses, or promise, "I'll get around to it someday." Schedule a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible. Delay only deepens resentment and makes matters worse.
In conflict, time heals nothing; it causes hurts to fester.
Acting quickly also reduces the spiritual damage to you. The Bible says sin, including unresolved conflict, blocks our fellowship with God and keeps our prayers from being answered, besides making us miserable. Job's friends reminded him, "To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do," (Job 5:2, TEV) and "You're only hurting yourself with your anger" (Job 18:4, TEV).
The success of a peace conference often depends on choosing the right time and place to meet. Don't meet when of you are tired, rushed or could be interrupted. The best time is when you both are at your best.
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