She Must Make The First Move: When Everybody is Right, But Relationships Are Still Broken

To listen to their self-testimony, neither of them had done anything wrong. Yet the atmosphere in the room was as cold as a blizzard in January. As far as he was concerned, their strained relationship was all her fault. Similarly, she was totally convinced she was in the right. So they sat in silence, not looking at each other or talking. Each blaming the other. Each wanting the other to apologize. What would happen next is a matter of what they value most.

Disciples are taught to love, forgive, and to show mercy to others. If God desires to heal our human relationships, is it possible a situation exists where they remain fractured?

To listen to some Christians the answer appears to be “yes.” How familiar are the following sentiments? “I have not done anything wrong. They hurt me. So the responsibility is upon them to come to me first and ask for forgiveness. I am justified in not doing anything more.”

How often have Christians stonewalled healing a relationship because each has dogmatically insisted that the weight of responsibility was upon the other person to make the first move? In spite of God’s desire to heal broken relationships, could it be that unity can legitimately be thwarted by a common human situation?

What happens when two godly values collide? The spiritually mature response is to honor the higher principle. For example, Christians are told to both obey the authorities and to preach Christ. So what should we do if the authorities tell us to not preach Christ? As Peter and John’s question to the Sanhedrin highlighted (Acts 4:19), which is more important: obeying God or obeying man? Accordingly they continued to preach Jesus (Acts 5:29).

Which is more important to you: defending your position in being right or a healed relationship? Which would God consider more important? Before you answer, remember God is the one who sent his innocent Son to die for his enemies that we might have peace with him through Jesus. And do not forget the apostle’s words, “why not rather take wrong? Why not rather be cheated?”/1 Would Paul place greater value upon defending “I have done nothing wrong” or in saying, “I am sorry for how my actions may have hurt you”?

To value the unity of reconciliation as being more important than protecting my rights reflects God’s love. Without a doubt, this is not a response of the spiritually immature.

1/ 1 Corinthians 6:7

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