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April 18, 2017

April 18, 2017

"Requirements of Restored Relationships"

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” 
Romans 8: 28 NIV

Forgiveness is not resuming a relationship without change.  In fact, forgiveness and resuming a relationship are two different things.  

Resuming the relationship is what the other person does in order to get back into your good graces.  Just saying “I’m sorry” is not enough.

The Bible teaches us three things that are essential to resume a relationship that has been broken.  The offender does these.  

1.  Restoring a relationship requires repentance.  As the offender you need to be sad about what you did.  You can’t just say “I’m sorry” and get off.  It means confessing that you were wrong and asking for forgiveness.  

2.  Restoring a relationship requires restitution.  That is often physical or material to pay back for what you have done.  You have a debt to pay to society or to someone for your actions.

3.  Restoring a relationship requires rebuilding trust.  That can take a long, long time.  God wants you to forgive people immediately.  He doesn’t say you have to trust them immediately.  Forgiveness is built on grace and is unconditional.  Trust is built on redeveloping relationships of depth that allow you to trust the other person.  

Most people miss those differences.  They think forgiveness means you get a "get out of jail free card" and never have to deal with the issues.  

Forgiveness is demanded of us by God.  Trust is earned.  If you are a leader trust is the currency that you live by.  When people no longer can trust you, they can no longer follow you.  

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don