Pastor Tim Howard
February 7, 2009
There are many different kinds of hurts in life but a broken heart stemming from a broken relationship is among the most painful. Talk to a young man who has just been told by his girlfriend that she doesn’t want to date him any longer and you will hear the pain in his voice. Visit a mother of two toddlers who has just been told by her husband that he wants a divorce. You will quickly see the devastating effects of this soon to be broken relationship.
You and I live in a world of brokenness. Marriages are breaking up at an unprecedented pace. Broken families are everywhere and our society is experiencing long lasting ramifications as a result – much like the aftershocks of an earthquake.
Jesus came to mend broken relationships and because of His life and death we can now have peace with God and experience His grace each and every day. His grace extends to our relationships with each other as well. You might be in a situation right now where you can identify a broken relationship. Maybe it’s a brother, sister, co-worker or a former friend. In Matthew 5, Jesus tells us to stop procrastinating and reach out to that person for the purpose of reconciliation. If you follow His advice, reconciliation becomes a very real possibility. But if that first step isn’t taken, you may never experience the tremendous joy of seeing a broken relationship repaired.
If you are hesitant to initiate the healing process, maybe these guidelines will help you take that first step.
1. Go in humility. 1 Peter 5:5 says to clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because God will assist the humble but opposes the proud. If you go in humility, God goes with you and can prepare the way for a positive response.
2. Go to the person in private and meet face to face whenever possible. Making a phone call, sending a text message or an e-mail may seem easier but it will not produce the same results. Matthew 18 confirms the importance of this approach by saying: “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you've made a friend.”
3. Don’t focus on what they have done to you, but keep your comments focused on your part in the broken relationship. The process of reconciliation will often be aborted if you stop repenting and start blaming them.
4. Ask for their forgiveness and don’t be surprised if they ask for forgiveness as well.
5. Let your words be few. The more you talk, the more chance you have to sin. Check out Proverbs 10:19, When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
6. Last but not least you need to leave the results in God’s hands. Romans 12:18 makes it clear that everyone does not want to be reconciled. If you follow His wisdom, however, you can rest assured that you will no longer a part of the problem but have offered a possible solution.
There are many churches in Kings County that would love to assist you with the ministry of reconciliation. Why not visit this weekend and let God begin to fix what is broken?