“If you have anything against anyone, forgive him.” Mark 11:25
It was late Saturday night, well, early Sunday morning, and I couldn’t sleep so I poured a glass of juice and turned on the TV. Clicking through the endless parade of infomercials I stopped at the beginning of a Bible lesson. I couldn’t turn away. He was compelling and to the point.
He used a flip chart and began, “Today we’ll be talking about the Seven Major Causes of Conflict and Broken Relationships.” I know there are more than seven causes but over the years I’ve discovered these seven seem to hit the most common areas. Now here they are:
1. PRIDE – Even when I’m wrong, I’m right! (They will get over it)
2. ANGER – Often moves to pride, then indifference then neglect
3. ENVY – Why do they get the promotions or best opportunities?
4. GOSSIP – If you hear damaging information about a friend and pass it on to another
5. NEGLECT – They know I care for them, how often do I need to say it?
6. JEALOUSY – Close to envy, more personal; as in: they are better looking, have better things. Can also manifest itself as concern over attention by another person to a friend or loved one
7. Indifference – Oh, for goodness sake, they’ll get over it.
When a rift occurs in a relationship we either do our best to heal it or it continues to fester, tearing it apart. Sometimes we both pretend it didn’t happen, apologize and make up (without mentioning the problem) and continue the relationship.
But what have we really done? We’ve torn the fabric of that relationship and put tape on the tear instead of mending it. The problem still exists and will usually cause other problems in the future. Just as we can cover up a blemish with makeup, it still exists and is on our mind. It is like putting a band aid over a bullet hole!
Everyone will have issues with other people in their lives, especially those closest to you because we are most vulnerable with them. Clear problems up quickly; don’t allow a problem between you and another to continue until it escalates into a major issue.
Identify which of the causes has fractured the relationship and do your best, with God’s help, to bring restoration and healing, as Jesus did for all of us.
When emotions rise, and they will, do not allow yourself to make personal, attacking remarks in anger—such as: “you are really stupid. What an idiot. I can’t believe you did that. What is wrong with you anyway? If you really cared, you wouldn’t have said/done that!” These are flaming, hurtful, damaging words that cannot be taken back. We can apologize but damage has been inflicted; Sometimes damage that cannot be undone.
As Christians, we have access to all of God’s resources for healing and restoring relationships. Do you sense a problem in a relationship? Pray—ask the Lord for specific methods to correct or restore. But be prepared, He often starts with us!”
Matthew 22:37-40 He said to him,“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
Mark 11:25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your sins too.
1 Peter 5:5 You younger men, follow the leadership of those who are older. And all of you serve each other with humble spirits, for God gives special blessings to those who are humble, but sets himself against those who are proud. If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in His good time He will lift you up.
Romans 12:18 Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.