Matthew 22:37-39 NLT
Jesus replied, “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Conflicts will arise! If you don’t believe that just look around! Relational conflict is everywhere.
Why are there conflicts? Because there are relationships and relationships involve people and people have opinions and opinions sometimes differ and sometimes that difference doesn’t sit well with us, we then form opinions and we act upon that difference in a way that may be unhealthy or detrimental to relationship.
As long as there is relationship there will be conflict.
What are the options when there is conflict? (I’m sure there are more than what I’ve listed)
- Ignore it!
- Isolate from it!
- Minimalize it!
- Sever the relationship!
- Work on it!
I think the last option is the best option in most cases. The church is made up or built upon relationships. Sometimes we fail at relationships and sometimes we succeed? If Christ can rise from the dead, he can resurrect our relationships!
Relationships matter to God. In fact we were created for relationship.
The real question might be: “Is the relationship something that we value?” Do we deem it “worth it”.
Webster’s defines relationship as:
1. the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.
Our greatest victories come through our greatest struggles.
T-ball championships are not highly celebrated! MLB World Series championships send entire cities into a frenzy of celebration. Why, because of the level of difficulty and struggle.
A key ingredient in relationship is effort
Valuing relationships = valuing people
People matter to God! People should matter to us! Our values should reflect his values and God highly values relationships.
4 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
Seeds of discord will never produce a harvest in the Kingdom of God!
Creating or building something is work! Therefore Relationships are work!
- Make allowance for each other’s faults
- Make every effort to keep yourself united in the Spirit
Our bond is not our common doctrine! Our bond is Christ and our love for one another! Our bond is greater than the parts that are being held together. If you glue boards together and the glue joint is a good joint then you can stress the joint and it will not break the “bond” because the bond is stronger than what is being held together.
The low hanging fruit is to simply point out the faults in others or find fault with one another.
Friends we have a choice: We can be part of the problem or we can be part of the solution. Love covers a multitude of sin! The hard thing is to bear one another’s burdens. Speaking the truth….in love.
The causes of broken relationships are as many and varied as there are people. Broken relationships really point to the very purpose of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. We have redemption and reconciliation through Christ. Our right relationship with God has been restored. I’m pretty sure that if God can restore our relationship with him He can restore any other relationship!
When it comes to relationships we have a choice. What are we going to do? The choice that is God honoring is to work on our relationship with one another. Relationships are not disposable or a one-time use.
Relationships are highly valued by God!
Here are 4 elements of healthy relationship:
- Commitment to one another
- Love one another most
- Forgiveness one another
- Don’t quit on one another (notice the “one another”)
Here are some practical steps for broken relationships:
- Pray for that person (Don’t pray about them) Pray blessing not judgment
- Wash their feet (Show them acts of service)
The question remains:
Are we going to value what He values?
Are we going to love the way He loves?
Are we going to do what God has commanded us to do to give God the opportunity to do what only he can do?
How are we known? By our love and unity or our disagreements and discord?
I pray that we are known for loving God and loving one another and bringing glory to Christ. This is Christ exalting, Christ honoring. This is the reward that is due him.