THE COMPLEXITY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-17

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so that you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)

Let’s be honest, keeping healthy relationships requires hard work. While we were created to be relational beings who are to have open and honest relationships with others, we are also sinful by nature and by conduct. This means we have a tendency to look after ourselves first. We can be selfish and proud. We often think more highly of ourselves than we think of others. Because of this we will have conflict and difficulties in our relationships. We must work hard to restore broken relationships and to deal with conflict in a healthy way.

Because we have been raised with Christ, we have the power to do these things. Thus, we read — “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so that you also must forgive.” We are to bear with one another. The easy thing is to write off the one who has offended us. But this is not God’s way.

God’s redemptive work is a work of reconciliation. Because we have been reconciled to God through Christ, we are also to be reconciled to one another through Christ. We must not short-circuit God’s redemptive work. Instead, we must seek the path of reconciliation in our relationships. This is the way of the gospel.

We are obligated to forgive those who have offended us. Forgiveness must be sincere and complete. When we grant forgiveness, we will not bring the matter up again. But there is more to forgiveness. We are also responsible to be reconciled to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are the family of God. Failing to seek reconciliation is an offense against God. God reconciled us to Himself and therefore, we must be reconciled to one another. Doing so takes hard work; but we have the power to be peacemakers because the Prince of Peace lives in us.

Lord Jesus, give me the desire and the power to be reconciled with those who have offended me. Let me bear with them and grant forgiveness when necessary. Enable me to be a peacemaker as I seek reconciliation. I cannot do this apart from You, Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace.

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