The purpose of The Christian Working Woman is to equip and encourage Christians in the workplace to love Christ more, to live their daily lives by biblical principles, and to go to their jobs as ambassadors for Jesus Christ. For more information on our ministry go to: www.christianworkingwoman.org.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Can this relationship be saved?
Is there a broken relationship in your life at present?Whether it’s a mate or a coworker or a
friend, think of the pain and pressure that has brought into your life.Consider the ripple effect of broken and
hurting relationships, not only on the people directly involved, but inevitably
on many others as well.
Are we doomed to have to live with these broken
relationships?What is our duty and
responsibility in trying to mend a broken relationship?Can – or should – all relationships be saved?
Jesus’ “Fix” for Broken Relationships
Consider what Jesus taught us to do when a relationship has
been broken or wounded.
Matthew 5:23 - 24:
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the
altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave
your gift there in front of the altar.First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Jesus said we are to go to anyone who has something against
us.That includes, to mention a few:
those whose feelings are hurt
because of us
those with whom we’ve had a
those to whom we spoke hastily
those who feel we’ve treated them
unfairly or neglected them
Notice that Jesus didn’t limit it to those who have
something legitimate against us or
those who have a right to have something against us.No, he says if you know that someone has
something against you, whether it’s your fault or not, then you take action.
Earthly counselors would be more likely to say, “If someone
has something against you and it’s not your fault, it’s not your problem.Let him or her make the first move.”But that’s not the way Jesus would deal with
a broken or wounded relationship.
In that culture to “leave your gift there in front of the
altar” and go would have been viewed as very unorthodox behavior.Jesus was making the point that
reconciliation is so important, we should drop what we’re doing to be
reconciled.Nothing is more important.
When we procrastinate in trying to be reconciled, the break
in the relationship grows deeper and wider.The reason for the break is exaggerated and amplified way beyond
reality.Innocent people are hurt;
gossip sets in. Putting it off is just going to make things worse.
Humbling Yourself vs. Enduring Humiliation
It is obviously a very humbling thing to make the first move
in trying to reconcile, especially if you feel you have done nothing wrong. But
remember that the Bible teaches us that if we humble ourselves, we won’t have
to be humbled.Whenever I refuse to
humble myself, I discover that sooner or later that humbling comes in a much
more painful way.So, humbling ourselves
is easier than being humbled.
Humbling ourselves is not the same as submitting ourselves
to humiliation.God has not called us to
suffer intentional abuse in our relationships.There is no justification for allowing ourselves to become a doormat.
Where is the line between humbling ourselves and allowing
someone to humiliate us?That’s a
question that would have to be considered in each situation, but if you will
pray and sincerely ask God to give you guidance, and then perhaps seek some
advice from trusted friends or counselors who are Bible-based, God will give
you directions in your relationship concerning whether you are humbling
yourself or allowing yourself to be humiliated.
No Guarantees for Success
Of course, there is no guarantee that your attempt to mend
this relationship will be successful.And that’s because you cannot control the other person.All you can do is obey the Lord, do what
we’re supposed to do, and let God take care of the outcome.
Romans 12:18 says:
If it is
possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Of course, there are times where a relationship has been
damaged so much that full restoration is not possible.But to the extent that it can be restored, it
should be restored.