7 Action Steps We Can Take To Bring Restoration To Relationships
Perhaps you have heard of the “Ministry of Reconciliation,” but have you ever considered how the words of Jesus commands us to be restored in fellowship with others?
“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, Mark 11:25,Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 Luke 17:3-4
* Perhaps you have studied these verses before, but dig deep and think of action steps necessary to bring full restoration in fellowship with others. Also consider how Jesus showed restoration, or at least sought to prevent relations from becoming worse, in the ways he dealt with others. List specific examples.
“I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27
* Consider the hateful comments expressed on social media, the taunts of protesters (irregardless of the issue), the verbal jabs thrown over political and religious beliefs, and consider how you can fulfill the command of Jesus to love and pray for those who persecute you
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37″If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15″For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2
* Think of at least ONE person you cannot forgive. Consider what you would do to restore that relationship IF your life depended upon it. Like, God saying to you: “Nope, you can’t come in. Not until you make things right with …”
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – apostle Paul, Colossians 3:13
* Think of someone with whom you have a grievance. How are you bearing — or not — with them
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – apostle Paul, Ephesians 4:32
* How might you show kindness and compassion to those with whom you have a grievance? List specific examples.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
* What commands and warnings are found in this verse?
“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9
* What commands and blessings are found in this verse?
“See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” – apostle Paul, 1 Thessalonians 5:15
* What commands are found in this verse?
When you are ridiculed, shamed, and taunted . . . offended, persecuted, and ignored . . . found to suffer any grievance or injustice, how might you rely on the Spirit of Christ within you to glorify Him through the words you say and write?
Here are seven action steps we can take to bring restoration to relationships.
- Disarm the situation (Garden of Gethsemane – Matthew 26:50-52)
- Praise both sides (Martha and Mary – Luke 10:38-42)
- Offer to make restitution (Zacchaeus the tax collector – Luke 19:1-10)
- Acknowledge when we are wrong (Zacchaeus the tax collector – Luke 19:1-10)
- Do not be quick to judge (Jesus and the woman caught in adultery – John 8:1-11)
- Pray for the situation and those involved (Jesus on the cross – Luke 23:34)
- Rest in silence. (God rested on the seventh day; – Genesis 2:2-3: Jesus remained silent when accused and taunted – Matthew 27:12)