Bible Verse of the Day

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 20 - Restoring broken fellowship


Relationships in fellowship are always worth restoring

Make the effort to maintain them whenever there is a rift, a hurt or a conflict. Broken fellowship is a disgraceful testimony to unbelievers. If you want to be known as a child of God, you must learn to be a peacemaker. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who WORK for peace...” - peacemaking is one of the most important skills you can develop.



Sometimes we need to avoid conflict. Sometimes we need to create conflict. Sometimes we need to resolve conflict. To know when, why and how we need to continually pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance.

HOW TO RESTORE A RELATIONSHIP

+ TALK to God before talking to the person

All your relationships would go smoothly if you would just pray more about them - use prayer to ventilate vertically - God is listening. Most conflict is rooted in unmet needs - and some can only be met by God (your efforts to resolve those are therefore futile) Go to God first.
  
+ ALWAYS take the initiative

Whether you are the offender or the offended God expects you to make the first move. Delay only deepens resentment and makes matters worse. In conflict, time heals nothing - only causes hurt to fester. Acting quickly also reduces the spiritual damage to you.
  
+ SYMPATHIZE with their feelings

Before attempting to solve any disagreement, listen to people's feelings. Don't try to talk people out of how they feel, let them unload emotionally without being defensive. People don't care what we know until they know that we care. It is a sacrifice to patiently absorb the anger of others, especially if it's unfounded.
  
+ CONFESS your part of the conflict

Begin by admitting your own mistakes and sin. Since we all have blind spots, you may need to ask a third party to help you evaluate your actions in the dispute. Confession is a powerful tool for reconciliation, it diffuses the other person's anger and disarms their attack - just honestly own up to any part you have played in the conflict - Accept responsibility, ask for forgiveness.

 + ATTACK the problem, not the person

Fix the problem, DON'T, fix the blame. In resolving conflict, HOW you say it is as important as WHAT you say. - say it offensively and it will be received defensively. You are never persuasive when you're abrasive. For the sake of fellowship use only helpful words, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.



+ COOPERATE as much as possible

Peace has a price tag. Do your best to compromise, adjust to others and show preferences to what they need.
  
+ EMPHASIZE reconciliation, not resolution

Reconciliation focuses on the relationship, while resolution focuses on the problem. When we focus on reconciliation, the problem loses significance and often becomes irrelevant. God expects unity - we can walk arm-in-arm without seeing eye-to-eye. You may bury the hatchet, not necessarily the issue - continue discussing and debating the issue in a spirit of harmony.
   
These steps are simple, but they are not easy. That’s why God calls peacemakers His children. May God bless and enhance your day, with much love - Stafford

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7