How to Restore Relationships

How to Restore Relationships

Have you ever made a mess of a relationship? Either with a spouse, friend, or a family member? I think every person on the planet could answer that question with a resounding yes!

Relationships aren’t always easy. Simply because we are all imperfect people and prone to selfishness and that can bring a lot of hurt into our friendships.

Maybe you’re reading this today and dealing with the hurt of a failed relationship. Maybe somewhere along the line, you did something hurtful to someone you love. Or maybe they did something to hurt you. 

Today, I want God’s word to teach us how to restore relationships in our lives. I believe good, loving, and healthy relationships are essential to every area of your life. Life is short, therefore, make your relationships great!

Here are four steps on how to restore relationships and keep them healthy. 

Leave your grudges behind.

I’ve met people who have held onto a grudge for decades. They can’t remember all the details of why they’ve been mad for so long, but they keep the grudge going. 

If you’re holding a grudge against someone, let me tell you from experience the only person it’s really hurting is you. And it’s ungodly.

The Bible tells us never to seek “revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18)

God always has an answer to your grudge. It’s kindness! That’s why we need step number two.

Be quick to forgive.

Letting go of a grudge and forgiveness go together like a pair of Twix. You just can’t have one without the other.

Jesus said, If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15) 

That makes forgiveness essential to your life. You cannot receive the free and undeserved gift of God’s grace and forgiveness while refusing to forgive someone who’s hurt you.

That’s why the Bible tells us to, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)

Which brings us to step number three.

Own up to being wrong.

Lots of people have the attitude that their friends are lucky to have them. They think they are the biggest blessing in the relationship. This leads to a lot of issues.

We become too proud to admit when we’re wrong and end up saying things like, “They are just overreacting, it’s not a big deal,” or “I really haven’t done anything wrong.” All the while the other person has been genuinely hurt by us. 

This kind of arrogance has left a slew of ruined relationships in its wake. It goes opposite the teachings of Jesus. He wanted us to pursue reconciliation.

Jesus said, “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)

In other words, go to the person and ask forgiveness. Take the steps toward reconciliation and own up to being wrong.

Then you will be able to do step four more efficiently.

Do good to those who harm you and bless them.

In God’s kingdom, we are to act in direct contrast to the kingdom of Satan. That’s why Jesus said, “To you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”  (Luke 6:27)

It’s one of the ways the world will recognize you had God’s child. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:35-36)

Relationships aren’t always easy. But with these biblical principles, it makes restoration possible. 

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