How do you repair a broken relationship?

Whoever is at fault in a broken relationship, one thing is clear; our foundation in the repair is love.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:1-2

I am not talking about the feelings of love but to recognize the importance of the other person in the broken relationship. We focus on our hurt, our anger, what that person did to us. To love is to put that persons hurt and anger as more important than ours. If that person hurt us, we are going to rid ourselves of all negative feelings and to love that person giving us the motivation to forgive. You don’t have to walk up to that person and say, I forgive you, but let the offense go.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32

I know that we can enjoy being the victim, telling our friends and coworkers how we were mistreated. Having people take pity on us, taking our side. Being a Christian means dropping the selfish approach to relationships and taking the Godly approach. Reread the two verses above. Responding the right way to others in spite of our feelings is an all-important step in repairing relationships. Let’s be honest with ourselves; we don’t have the spiritual strength to love as we ought. We need to tap into God’s love and let His love come through in our lives. We need to spend time in His Word and in prayer.

The next thing we need to talk about is courage and wisdom. We need courage to do what needs to be done to repair the broken relationship and wisdom to know what to do. Every situation is different and there is no right or wrong way. Is it best to approach that person and explain the offense and why it hurt? Or to drop the silent treatment and say good morning the next time you see her at work. Then gradually start a conversation. If she snaps back in an anger, remember the love thing and respond gently, telling her that you are sorry she is feeling angry and asking her if she would like to talk about it. Then really listen, trying to look at the situation from her perspective. Be an active listener by repeating what she said so she knows that you have a clear understanding of what she is communicating. If it is a misunderstanding you can calmly explain what happened. If you caused the hurt, apologize. Never raise your voice and do not take offense at anything she says.

Sometimes a person will wrong us and refuse to admit it. God requires us to drop the negative feelings and decide to forgive that person. You need to have the mindset of, I will not be angry or hateful towards that person. I am also a sinner, and as a sinner I can relate to handling people in a sinful way.

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