God has restored our relationship with Him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. — 2 Corinthians 5:18 (GWT)
Relationships are always worth restoring. God has given us the ministry of restoring relationships. For this reason a significant amount of the New Testament is devoted to teaching us how to get along with one another in fellowship.
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care — then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. — Philippians 2:1-2 (MSG)
Shame on you! Surely there is at least one wise person in your fellowship who can settle a dispute between fellow Christians. — 1 Corinthians 6:5 (TEV)
I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. — 1 Corinthians 1:10 (MSG)
Jesus said, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” — Matthew 5:9 (NLT)
You are only hurting yourself with your anger. — Job 18:4 (TEV)
God has called us to settle our relationships with each other. — 2 Corinthians 5:18 (MSG)
Here are seven biblical steps to restoring fellowship:
1. Talk to God before talking to the person.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. — James 4:1-2 (NIV)
2. Always take the initiative.
Jesus said, “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 (MSG)
3. Sympathize with their feelings.
Look out for another’s interests, not just for your own. — Philippians 2:4 (TEV)
A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. — Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)
Let’s please the other fellow, not ourselves, and do what is for his good. — Romans 15:2 (LB)
Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. — Ephesians 4:29 (TEV)
4. Confess your part of the conflict.
Jesus said, “First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” — Matthew 7:5 (NLT)
If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. — 1 John 1:8 (MSG)
5. Attack the problem, not the person.
When my thoughts were bitter and my feelings were hurt, I was as stupid as an animal. — Psalm 73:21-22 (TEV)
A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. — Proverbs 15:1 (MSG)
A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is. — Proverbs 16:21 (TEV)
6. Cooperate as much as possible.
Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. — Romans 12:18 (TEV)
You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. — Matthew 5:9 (MSG)
7. Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution.
Work hard at living at peace with others. — 1 Peter 3:11 (NLT)
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” — Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
Christ did not indulge His own feelings… as scripture says: The insults of those who insult you fall on me. — Romans 15:3 (NJB)
Excerpted with permission from Daily Inspiration for the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, copyright Zondervan.
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It’s shouldn’t be a surprise to us that Holy Scripture is so devoted to teaching us to be patient with one another, forgiving, gracious, and kind — because it’s not our natural bent. We’re a quarrelsome, disputatious, self-defensive bunch! We have to learn how to get along in fellowship and practice remaining at peace with one another even with those we love the most. And when we do so, we honor God and display His Love to the world around us! Come join the conversation on our blog. We’d love to hear from you about reconciling relationships! ~ Devotionals Daily