We all know that good relationships make life much more enjoyable. In 1 John 4 we get a clear picture and reminder that our love for each other and our love for God are very much connected.
We’ve probably all heard of cure-alls or home remedies that can fix just about anything. When we read these scriptures, the Bible really has the answers for whatever ails us.
What should we do when we find ourselves in a relationship that is underlined with mistrust?
Luke 6:27-36 – Jesus talks about how we should relate to our enemies, and then he talks about how we relate to our brothers.
Jesus starts out by saying we should look inward. Do my actions reflect an attitude of love? Jesus says to love our enemies, do good to them, and pray for them. It isn’t so much our best relationships that show how our relationship with God is, it is our worst relationships.
Luke 6:41-42 – Do we need to be perfect before correcting someone else? Probably not, because none of us are, but we should make sure we aren’t blinded by pride, or anger, or jealousy.
Galatians 5:25-26 – Reach out gently, make sure we aren’t the problem, that we aren’t being hypocritical, and then we can go on to confront the sin. Lead by example, take the first step in reconciliation.
How often do we justify negative actions or feelings based on how someone else has handled a situation? We are to respond first, following the golden rule. If everyone waits for the other person to take the first step in reconciliation, it’ll never happen.
Matthew 18:15-17 – Jesus talks about how we should address issues between brothers and sisters in the church. Start small, go to the person you have a struggle with. If there is no progress, escalate to several people, this is for numerous reasons. If there is still no progress, get the rest of the church involved.
So, what should we take away from this study? It is how we do with difficult relationships that show how we are doing walking with God. Not the better ones.
Scriptures used – 1 John 4, Luke 6:27-42, 1 Corinthians 16, 1 John 5:16-17, Galatians 5:25, Matthew 18:15-17