Are there any relationships in your life that are currently in a broken state? Maybe it’s someone you wouldn’t want to run into, because too many hurtful things have been said or done that remain unresolved. Maybe it’s a coworker, employee, friend, neighbor or family member. If someone asked me this–even one month ago–mournfully I would’ve pictured a few individuals where reconciliation was sorely needed, yet seemed impossible.
Today, I can sincerely and joyfully share, where brokenness seemed to rule with a clinched fist over three relationships in my life, by God’s grace, peace once again reigns. At one point these relationships were inseparable. In fact, when some people heard that “we were no longer able to talk with one another” most reacted with disbelief. I too sat on my bed–during non-sleeping hours–in a near depressed and disbelieving state over the depth of fall out. The way out seemed impossible on many fronts. There had been too much betrayal and too much disappointment many thought, including myself. However, God wasn’t finished with me nor was He finished with these former beloved friends.
So, how can a seemingly un-mendable relationship become mended? Here is what I’ve experienced personally over the last three months.
1. Pray. God’s heart for reconciliation was expressed by sending His son into a broken world full of broken people. He took the first step and the next many steps all the way to the completion of our salvation and perfect reconciliation with Him. Jesus reconciled us to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Our sin violated our relationship with God to the point where our fall out with God was immeasurable and impossible to mend. God did what we couldn’t do. His reconciliation in us now moves through us to one another and prayer is the medium God uses to break up the stoney parts of our experience with others. Will you commit to praying for the relationship where brokenness still reigns? Ask God to reveal your sin and to do whatever it takes to restore this relationship.
2. One trusted person. My wife is my most trusted confidant. She knows me and “sees me” at a level no one else can. She loves me well by holding up the gospel during broken seasons with people. She simply encourages me to pray and–when ready–humbly confess my sin to them. Did you catch that? She tells me to confess my sin. Jerushah reflects what scripture says, “we have all fallen short, missed the mark and wandered off” (Romans 1-3). “As far as it depends on you, pursue peace with all” (Romans 12:18). We can’t do someone else’s part, but we can do our part by humbling ourselves in confession. Who is your one person who will hold up the gospel for you? What actions, thoughts, or words spoken can you own and ask forgiveness for?
3. Communicate. Nothing will be mended without open and honest communication. The enemy of God will do all he can to convince you to “forget about the conflict and move on.” However, I have never seen anyone actually be able to do this. Conflict remains and lingers like a weed in a garden. When you are ready to confess you may be ready to communicate.
I’m hoping and praying peace will reign over your relationships soon.
This blog was written by Lead Pastor, Chris Armfield.