Relationships are always worth restoring.
Because life is all about learning how to love, GOd wants us to value relationships and make the effort to maintain them instead of discarding them whenever there is a rift, a hurt or a conflict.
In fact, the Bible tells us that God has given us the ministry of restoring relationships. For this reason, a significant amount of the New Testament if devoted to teaching us how to get along with one another. Paul wrote, “If you have gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if this love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you,… Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.” Paul taught that our ability to get along with others is a mark of spiritual maturity.
Since Christ wants his family to be known for our love for each other, broken fellowship is a disgraceful testimony to unbelievers.
That is why Paul was so embarrassed that the members of the church in Corinth were splitting into warring factions and even taking each other to court. He wrote, “Shame on you! Surely there is at least one wise person in your fellowship who can settle a dispute between fellow Christians”
He was shocked that no one in the church was mature enough to resolve the conflict peaceably. In the same latter, he said, “I will put it as urgently as I can; you must get along with each other.”
If you want God”s blessing on your life and you want to be known as a child of God, you must learn to be a peacemaker. Jesus said, "God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God." Noticed Jesus didn’t say, “blessed are the peace lovers,”because everyone loves peace, Neither did he say, “blessed are those who work for peace”— those who actively seek to resolve conflict, peacemaker are rare because peacemaking is hard work.
Because you were formed to be a part of God”s family and the second purpose of your life on earth is to learn how to love and relate to others, peacemaking is one of the most important skills you can develop. Unfortunately, most of use were never taught how to resolve conflict.
Peacemaking is not avoiding conflict. Running from a problem, pretending it doesn’t exist, or being afraid to talk about it is actually cowardice. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was never afraid of conflict. On occasion he provoked it for the good of everyone. Sometimes we need to avoid conflict, sometimes we need to create it, and sometimes we need to resolve it. That is why we must pray for the Holy Spirit’s continual guidance.
Peacemaking is also not appeasement, Always giving in, acting like a doormat, and allowing others to always run over you is not what Jesus had in mind. He refused to back down on many issues, standing his ground in the face of evil opposition.
How to restore a relationship:
As believers, God has “called us to settle our relationships with each other.” Here are seven biblical steps to restoring fellowships.
Talk to God before talking to the person.
Discuss the problem with God, If you will pray about the conflict first instead of gossiping to a friend, you will often discover that either God changes your heart or he changes the other person without your help. All your relationships would go smoother if you would just pray more about them.
As David did with his psalms, use prayer to ventilate vertically. Tell God your frustrations. Cry out to him. He is never surprised or upset by your anger, hurt, insecurity, or any other emotions. So tell him exactly how you feel.
Most conflict is rooted in unmet needs. Some of these needs can only be met by God. When you expect anyone-a friend, spouse, boss, or family member - to meet a need that only God can fulfill, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and bitterness. No one can meet all of your needs except God.
The apostle James noted that many of our conflicts are caused by prayerlessness: “What causes fights and quarrels among you?... You want something but don’t get it.. You don’t have, because you don’t ask God. Instead of looking to God, we look to others to make us happy and then get angry whey they fail us. God says, “Why don’t you come to me first?
Always 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 takes priority over group worship. He said, ” If you enter your place of worship and, about to make and 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.
When fellowship is strained or broken, plan a peace conference immediately, Dont procrastinate, make excuse, or promise ” I wil 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 and you are only hurting yourself with your anger.
The success of a peace conference often depends on choosing the right time and place to meet. Don’t meet when either of you are tired or rushed or will be interrupted The best time is when you bother are at your best.