December 30, 2014

Relational Repair

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 30, 2014

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?   Matthew 8:5-7

I am learning that relationships are like cars—from time to time they break down. If I ignore the regular maintenance of relational repair it will be to my peril. Marriage, parenting, work, family and friends all require ongoing evaluation and consistent investment of time and energy. It is especially necessary for me to prayerfully look for ways to serve those whom I have hurt or have hurt me. Relational repair doesn’t mean a perfect relationship, but one that applies love to the wound.

Jesus illustrates this beautifully in His response to the request of a man most despised by the Jewish people. This Roman soldier who had inflicted pain and suffering on Christ’s contemporaries asked Jesus for the healing of one of his prized slaves. This powerful centurion unapologetically asked a favor from one who represented a people persecuted by this leader and his government. Jesus chose healing over hate. The Lord served an evil man for the sake of his faith.

“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 5:23-24).

Who is asking for help, though they may not deserve your help? Or, do you  need help from someone you may have hurt? In either situation, humility and unselfish service go a long way in getting you back in sync with a distant relationship. Go to the offended person and offer help, or go to the one who offended you and offer to serve them. Make restitution in a way that moves the hurt soul toward healing and forgiveness. You can’t change the past, but you can love and serve in the present. Relational repair requires an ongoing conversation to restore trust and intimacy.

Most of all, we are wise to keep a healthy relationship with our heavenly Father. It may be our own unconfessed sins that create a chasm between us and Christ. Sin is subtle as it hijacks our intimacy with the Almighty and replaces it with our own idols. Or in the middle of trials and temptations we can forget to trust the Lord and distance ourselves from the very thing we need most in the moment—God’s grace. Confession and repentance position us for relational healing with our heavenly Father. He reciprocates with love, forgiveness and reconciliation with Him!

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the humble initiative to serve those whom I have hurt and those who have hurt me.

Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 7:14; Nehemiah 9:3; Matthew 5:43-48; 1 Peter 3:8

Post/Tweet this today: Relational repair requires an ongoing conversation to restore trust and intimacy. #relationalrepair #wisdomhunters

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