“One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.”
Despite the aftermath of the conflict that would have come about, we are called to build and restore the relationships the Lord has put alongside us. Failure to do this not only shows very little care for the person, but also towards the Lord.
After all, every relationship we have (not speaking of those who are toxic), is one given to us by the Lord Himself. It is a gift and therefore should be taken care of. One doesn’t merely get given a gift and treat it with very little care. Instead, you show the one who gave you the gift that you value it and are willing to take care of it.
In today’s culture, where it is easier to replace than to take care, we seem to have taken on the same mentality toward the people the Lord has given us. A car which would have lasted a lifetime back in the day, now gets replaced (if you are financially able to) every couple of years. Cell phones are designed to only last a certain period, the minute it becomes a problem you know it’s time for a new one.
It is no wonder that we are quick to replace even those who would have been part of our lives for a long period of time. Today, even when looking at marriages, we find that the minute the relationship hits an impasse, both call it quits and go looking for someone else. Relationships are not material things that only carry a certain life span; a relationship is something you do for life.
There are many who would say, when meeting up with an old friend who might have relocated to another city or town, that it is like picking up right where they have left off when getting together. In my heart, the only thing that should ever separate a relationship is when life forces them to head off in separate ways. By life, I mean work or family relocations. There really should be very little that should separate us from doing life together.
It might feel like I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill, placing unrealistic expectations on something that should be less complicated, but the truth is that not many give thought to those they link their lives up with. Perhaps if we did, we wouldn’t be so quick to move on with our lives when conflict arises.
Relationships are important, as such we need to learn to take better care of them. If you are a born again believer then you should have an extremely high regard for those the Lord has blessed you with. You will experience ups and downs, good times and bad times. We do not sign up only for the good, but the bad as well.
Although Paul and Peter might have had their conflict moments, the call to the greater mission and belonging to the same kingdom trumped their differences.
As believers, we need to learn how to work through our difference (the moments of conflict) and not be so quick to move on from what the Lord has blessed us with. Every relationship is a gift; learn to fight for them.
Heavenly Father. How grateful I am for the men and women You have placed in my life. They are truly a gift from You. Grant me the wisdom to be able to nurture these relationships. I pray this in Your mighty name Lord Jesus. Amen.