Abbot of Holy Trinty, Moscow, 1392
"Restoring Relationships: Take the Initiative"
“If you enter your place of worship and are about to make an offering, but you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to your friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.”Matthew 5: 23 – 24 MSG
The second biblical step towards restoring a relationship is to take the initiative.
It doesn’t matter is you are the offender or the offended, God expects you to make the first move. Don’t wait for the other party. Go to them first.
Do you want to know how important this is? Jesus commanded that it take priority even over worshiping God. That’s how important He sees our relationships.
When fellowship is strained or broken, plan a peace conference immediately. Don’t wait, make excuses or promise, “I’ll get around to it some day.” Schedule aface-to-facemeeting as soon as possible. Delay only deepens the chance of resentment.
About that face-to-face, you need to understand something. You can’t do this through an electronic means such as texting or email. It won’t work as well. Sometimes, it only results in more and greater misunderstanding.
There is a saying that “time heals all wounds.” In conflict, time heals nothing; it causes hurt to fester. Acting quickly not only reduces the damage to your relationship to the other person, it reduces the spiritual damage to you.
The Bible tells us that sin, including unresolved conflict, blocks our fellowship with God and keeps our prayers from being answered, besides making us miserable. Is that really how you want to be?
The success of a peace conference often depends on choosing the right time and place to meet. Don’t do it when you’re tired, rushed or could be interrupted. The best time is when you're both at your best.
Peace in the Lord,