There are many times that God calls Christians to make peace. Although this is not always the case, as I wrote recently in “Christian, Stop Making Peace ” If you are working in an area where God has called you to make peace, here are five ways God gives to help make peace with others.
LISTEN TO OTHERS
A majority of problems could be solved if we sat down, shut our mouths, and listened to each other. Many problems are caused by miscommunication. When we hear each other, there are times that we misunderstand each other, and everything can be fixed quickly. This is why James 1:19 tells us to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.”
If the issue is not because of miscommunication but there is sin in the relationship, the next biggest thing that can help it is to be willing to forgive. We all sin, and do so against others. We want forgiveness, and we need to be willing to give it. Often forgiveness can help create peace with the person we have a problem with.
If you are a Christian, the best way you can look at it is giving what you have received. If Christ has forgiven you, then you can forgive others. This is why the apostle Paul says to the Ephesians “forgiving one another, as God in Christ Jesus forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).” Maybe we need to ask forgiveness or maybe we need to give it. The reality is if there is sin, there must be forgiveness for the relationship to heal.
GIVE OTHERS GRACE
The next thing we can do is “bear with each other (Colossians 3:13).” This means that sometimes we give people a pass. I’m not suggesting letting people railroad you. But there are times that someone else is going through something, maybe dealing with major stress, and struggling to react in the right way. There are times I think, “This is not normal for this person. I am just going to give them a break this time.”
PUT OTHERS FIRST
Many times if there is a broken relationship, you can point to selfishness. Someone is being self-centered. Often, if one person says, “I’m going to put the other person first,” it can start healing the relationship. If both parties do this, the relationship can be dynamic.
The apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:3 tells us to do this. He says to “do nothing out of selfish ambition” and then calls us to “value others above yourself.” He says that in order to do that we need to overlook our needs, and look to the needs of others instead (verse 4). Then he tells us to do that because that is what Christ did for us (verse 5).
OVERLOOK SINS COMMITTED AGAINST YOU
Like I said under the section of bearing with each other, this does not mean that we should let people constantly sin against us without dealing with that sin. But this idea has more to do with the fact that we don’t have to point out every time someone sins against us.
We can have someone sin against us and not bring it up. If we are not nitpicking every single sin, then we are indeed giving grace. This is why Proverbs 19:11 says that it is glory to the person who will “overlook an offense” from someone else. If we are constantly pointing out each other’s sins, we won’t have time to build the relationship.
How are your relationships? Which of these five things do you need to focus on to help heal a bad relationship? Do you need to listen better, forgive or ask forgiveness, give grace, put someone else first, or overlook a sin? If you did one or two of these today, how would it help improve your relationship?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.