Relationships Are Worth Restoring
“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 . . . Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends” (Philippians 2:1-2 The Message).
Relationships are always worth restoring.
Life is all about learning how to love, and God wants us to value relationships and make every 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 is devoted to teaching us how to get along with one another.
The apostle Paul taught that our ability to get along with others is a mark of spiritual maturity. Because Christ wants his family to be known for our love for each other, broken fellowship is a disgraceful testimony to unbelievers. This is why Paul was so concerned 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” (1 Corinthians 6:5 GNT). He was shocked that no one in the church was mature enough to help resolve the conflict peaceably. In the same letter, he said, “I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other” (1 Corinthians 1:10 The Message).
If we want God’s blessing on our lives and we want to be known as children of God, we must learn to be peacemakers. Jesus said, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9 NLT).
Notice Jesus didn’t say, “Blessed are the peace lovers,” because everyone loves peace. Neither did he say, “Blessed are the peaceable,” who seem to never be disturbed by anything. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who work for peace” — those who actively seek to resolve conflict.
Over the next few days, we’ll look at the steps necessary to resolve conflict. Peacemakers are rare because peacemaking is hard work. But because you were formed to be a part of God’s family, peacemaking is one of the most important skills you can develop!
Talk It Over
What people do you know who are peacemakers? How would you describe their character?
What is one thing you could do today to work for peace in your relationships and in your community?
Why is peacemaking such hard work?
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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