"Relationships are always worth restoring."
|We need people to be goofy with, too. |
Laughter is contagious AND healthy! :)
To begin, I know for certain that every human being needs at least one person to call "friend": a person that they can trust with things that they can't keep bottled up anymore. We are wired by God to be social beings. It is especially important as Christians to interact with fellow believers because we build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11): as you may have heard, there is strength in numbers.
What about those, however, that have walked out of your life after a disagreement or some other circumstance that has left you on bad terms with that person? First off, in Leviticus, the LORD commands, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD" (19:18). That means, even when a person does something completely awful to us, we are called by God to forgive them regardless of the pain they have caused us.
"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:43-44).Second off, just like the story of Jonah (the man who turned away from what God said to do his own thing, but God gave him a second chance and spat him out of the big fish that swallowed him), we are called by Christ to love like Jesus and forgive our neighbors "not seven times, but seventy-seven times" (Matthew 18:22). Even if our friends continue to do wrong to us, even when they have promised to never do it again by apologizing, we ought to not hold that against them but forgive them every time.
Maybe you are the one that caused the pain to another person. There are nine places in the Bible (which includes Leviticus 19:18) that shows Jesus' greatest commandment and the importance of abiding by that law. Below are a few of those references:
"'honor your father and mother, and 'love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matthew 19:19).
"Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments'" (Matthew 22:37-40).
"To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Mark 12:33).
"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right." (James 2:8).No matter what we do to others, or vice versa, we are called to love one another regardless. If there is a relationship that loose ends, as Rick Warren writes in his book The Purpose Driven Life, "relationships are always worth restoring."