At some point, it's inevitable that we all face conflict in our relationships with others. Who do you have a conflict with? As we continue our series Crazy Happy, we learn in Matthew 5:9 that Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Christ calls us to be peacemakers who deal with conflict in order to repair relationships with those around us. That's why below, we're providing 6 steps to help you fix a broken relationship.
#1) MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
Did you know conflict with others can actually hurt your relationship with God? Matthew 5:23-24 calls us to go and reconcile with others before we bring our offering of worship to God. So, make the first move to reconcile. Don't wait on the other person to apologize - even if they truly were in the wrong. Take a step towards peacemaking, and you'll imitate Christ Jesus in this way.
#2) START WITH WHAT'S YOUR FAULT
The next step to fix a broken relationship is to start by owning up to your own faults or mistakes. This is counterintuitive. It's easy to get defensive and list all the ways the other person is wrong. But instead of attacking or blaming the person you are in conflict with, humbly confess what was your fault. Share what's going on inside of you! A great way to do that is to say, "I'm sorry, I was only thinking of myself." This helps you both move from a place of defense to actually fixing the relationship.
#3) CONFESS YOUR BLIND SPOTS
When you're in an argument, it's so easy to magnify the part of the other person, and minimize your own part. So, if you want to be a peacemaker like Jesus, do the opposite of what comes naturally. Do an honest evaluation: Where are you in the wrong? Did you have unrealistic expectations? Did you miscommunicate? Confess your blind spots to magnify your part in the conflict, before moving to the next step.
#4) WRAP THE TRUTH IN LOVE
The fourth step to fix a broken relationship is to wrap the truth in love. We get this guidance from Ephesians 4:15 in the New Testament of the Bible. You could tell the truth - but often, when we're truthful without love, it actually escalates the situation. So, refrain from shouting truth in anger. Take another path by wrapping truthful confessions in actions and words that show love.
#5) FIX THE PROBLEM, NOT THE BLAME
The next step to reconciling is to attack the issue, not each other. The goal in any conflict is to restore the relationship, and we so quickly forget that. You both are on the same team, ultimately - to restore the relationship! Playing the blame game won't fix the problem.
#6) FOCUS ON RECONCILIATION, NOT RESOLUTION
Last, and certainly not least, to truly reconcile a relationship, your focus should be on re-establishing the relationship. That means you bury the hatchet to be at peace. There may be things that you learn to disagree on - so you may not actually come to a resolution. However, the broken relationship can still be fixed if you can learn to disagree without being disagreeable towards one another. When you focus on repairing the relationship, often the issue becomes insignificant.
CHRIST'S MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
In what relationships will you commit to peacemaking this week? Remember: when we were in a broken relationship with God because of sin, Christ set the example of peacemaking for us on the Cross. Christ died to reconcile us to God forever. In a world and culture full of conflict, we challenge you this week to pursue Christ's ministry of reconciliation in your own life. Let us do for each other what Christ has done for us already!
Want to mend a broken relationship in your life but don’t know where to start? Start here by exploring additional content from Liquid Church:
- MESSAGE: Resolving Conflict - As part of our Love, Sex & Dating series, Pastor Nithin teaches from the Song of Songs on how to handle relational conflict in healthy ways. Click here to watch.
- MESSAGE: Love Actually - For those people in our lives that are hard to forgive, how do we realistically love them instead of pushing them further away? Click here to watch a message from our Love Comes To Town series.
- ARTICLE: How To Reconcile A Broken Relationship - Whether the conflict is with a significant other, a friend, a co-worker or a family member, no relationship is beyond God’s saving grace. Click here to read.