Understanding Relationships

While it may surprise some, Christians can have misunderstandings. One person, making light of this reality said, “If it weren’t for people, it would be easy to be a Christian.” One fella was so distraught over the fussing of adults that he resigned his adulthood. He said, “I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year old again. I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four star restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks. I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them. I want to play dodgeball at recess and paint with watercolors in art. I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all resign from adulthood? Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be Christians and not have to worry about repairing broken relationships? Of course, that is not what we receive when we are saved by grace through faith. According to scripture, we are all “ministers of reconciliation,” (2 Corinthians 5:11-21)

So, how do we deal with brokenness in relationships between brothers and sisters in Christ? The Bible speaks specifically about this in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus said, “If your brother or sister (a fellow believer or disciple) sins against you, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over” (Matthew 18:15). Instead, many times person A is more apt to speak about his problem with person B to persons C, D, E, and F. While there is wisdom in counsel, I suspect we are often looking for someone to agree with us rather than seeking wisdom about how to deal with our broken relationships.

Our Lord’s instruction in this matter calls each of us to be in the business of repairing relationships; not throwing them away. Unless we are like the person who once said, “I don’t do everything the Bible tells me to do,” we must make a judgement about our adherence to this command from our Lord. Do I or don’t I follow this teaching of Jesus? Am I about the business of reconciliation or not? This is a question of great importance.

One would assume that all of us who are followers of Christ know this teaching by heart and follow it in dealing with any misunderstandings. BUT WE DON’T! This is a problem. Every believer in the church should know and follow this biblical teaching. Most of our differences could be remedied by following Jesus’ instructions in this manner.

Friends, how would the church change if we would not listen to complaints about others?

Blessings,

Pastor Doug