Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 1, 2017
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
If I could sit down with you and have an honest conversation about your relationships, I bet you could tell me a story about a time when someone took advantage of you, betrayed you, or let you down. Perhaps they failed to give you the love you long for, or the support you desire. As a result, trust was broken.
Or, perhaps you were the one who contributed to the death of trust through some sinful attitude or action.
The good news is that the Bible gives a prescription for the restoration of relationships.
“Therefore, 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 5:23-25).
The prescription is to go. That sounds challenging, but not impossible, right? Go. Admit you’re wrong. Be reconciled.
But have you noticed that when trust is broken, restoring it isn’t as quick as an apology? Why? Because the beginning of reconciliation happens with an apology or a request for forgiveness, but total relational healing happens when trust is restored, and that often takes more than an “I’m sorry.” But how does that happen?
It happens when both parties forgive, of course, but also as the offender moves from “I’m sorry” to action. They are willing to do what is necessary to make the one they have offended or hurt feel safe. If that means they need to tell their mate where they are going after work and call home at noon, they’ll do it. If it means they need to submit themselves to counsel or accountability, they’ll do it. If it means they need to take a class or have some hard conversations to regain trust, they’ll do it.
When we are serious about relational restoration, we’ll be truly remorseful about the sin we have committed against our brother or sister in Christ and we’ll move from “I’m sorry,” to action. We will be willing to not only ask for forgiveness but do the work that is necessary for healing to happen.
When there is consistency between words and actions, between intention and behavior, trust can be restored. And when two people work together to restore trust, great things happen. Intimacy grows. Joy increases. And, God is glorified.
There is no relationship that is so broken that God cannot restore when both parties humble themselves and work together to restore trust.
Is there a relationship in your life that has been broken because trust has been broken? How can you respond in a godly way to contribute to the restoration of trust? And, if you are the one who wronged another, are you willing to humble yourself and do the work so confidence and trust can be restored? Are you willing to help your brother or sister in Christ feel safe with you again?
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time”(1 Peter 5:6).
PrayerLord, please give me the courage, grace, forgiveness, and humility to always conduct my relationships the way you desire. Amen.
ApplicationIs there someone you need to restore trust with today? Pray about your next step.
Related ReadingProverbs 29:23; Romans 12:10; James 3:14-16
Post/Tweet todayThere is no relationship that is so broken that God cannot restore when both parties humble themselves and work together to restore trust. #WisdomHunters #RelationshipsRestored
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