A few highlights:
We are all imperfect people and every relationship we are in is comprised of two imperfect people, so conflict is inevitable.
The four areas I suggested people look at are:
- Have clear expectations of people and seek clear expectations from others.
- Communicate clearly.
- Forgiveness is essential to relational health.
- Grace is something that God gives to us and something we get to give to others.
Here are some scriptures, thoughts, and study questions:
God’s Desire for Relationships to be Whole
Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life. Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. –Philippians 4:2-5 (NLT)
An Example of Biblical Forgiveness
That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus. I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison. Onesimus hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us. I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart. I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf. But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced. It seems you lost Onesimus for a little while so that you could have him back forever. He is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord. -Philemon 8-16 (NLT)
A Quote on Forgiveness
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” –Catherine Ponder
An Important Question
“One of life’s most persistent and urgent questions is: What are you doing for others?” –Martin Luther King
Questions for Personal Reflection
- “You can’t change other people, you can only change your reaction to others.” How does that statement affect the way you think about the way you relate to other people?
- “The forgiveness of others is ultimately a gift to the one who is forgiving.” Why is forgiving others difficult? What possibilities does forgiveness open up in your life?
- Craig talked about the correlation between our relationships with self, others, and God. How has this affected you in the past? Moving forward, what challenges and possibilities do you see in the web of relationships that you have?