Do you have any relationships that have been damaged?
My bet is your answer is YES.
How it became damaged probably happened one of three ways…
- You were the cause of it because of something you said, did or are doing currently
- Your friend, family member, or co-worker was the cause of it because of something they said, did, or are currently doing
- An unfortunate misunderstanding occurred and neither of you have tried to reconcile yet
Damaged relationships cause hurt. We can respond to the hurt in a couple of ways…
- We can become resentful and pass the blame on to the other person (whether we were the cause of it or not). Not recommended.
- We can allow the hurt to negatively affect our other relationships. This is when we focus so much on the pain of what happened our other relationships suffer. Not recommended.
- We can try to see our responsibility in the hurt and do our best to reconcile the relationship. Recommended.
- We can understand that sometimes the other person needs to go through their own trial, that we were not the root cause of the hurt but possibly the unfortunate target. In this response, we determine to allow time to pass and pray the other person comes around. Recommended along with #3.
There is one response that will help us stay on the path to reconciliation.
Prayer and HOPE.
Prayer is simply put… communication with God. Talk to Him. Let Him know what is going on in Your relationships. I guarantee you, He knows and can handle whatever issue you may have. Ask Him for the wisdom in how to deal with the hurt of a relationship and to help mend whatever damage was done, no matter who was the cause.
Hope is very powerful.
Someone could be swimming in a sea of despair, floating in the dark night of the soul – and then a word of Hope and encouragement comes. That hope can be a lifeline they or you can hold on to.
Hope gives life to a relationship. The hurt is still there, but Hope helps people to say, “I’m not giving up on this friend, family member, or co-worker.”
Here are a few verses and descriptions to encourage you and bring you HOPE for and in your relationships.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
This scripture is specifically addressing the hurt that comes from relationship. You CAN be healed emotionally and psychologically. You WILL get through this.
“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”
Allowing hatred or harboring a grudge is like a cancer. Not only does it kill the cells in infects, but it causes damage to the surrounding cells. In other words, hatred, bitterness and resentment will only drive you further into despair and it will infect all of your other relationships in a negative way.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
No matter what someone has done or said to you or what you have done or said to someone else, forgiveness releases you from the continued hurt that can affect you and others around you.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
If God can forgive us, and we have much in our lives and hearts to be forgiven for – then we can in turn share that forgiveness of wrongs done against us. Also, this should compel us to seek forgiveness and reconciliation when we have done someone wrong.
When going through a hurtful situation in a relationship, it can feel as if it will never be made right again.
Trust can be broken.
Words can leave emotional scars.
Thoughts can take you captive to the hurt.
However, there is HOPE!
Love for someone can cover over a multitude of wrongs.
Forgiveness can heal wounds left by words.
Trust can be rebuilt.
Thoughts can be forced into submission.
Resolve to reconcile can strengthen a relationship even through the difficulty.
We all have a responsibility in our relationships, even if we are not the one causing the relational damage. It is up to us to show love, model healthy conflict, and to do our part to make things right.
You will not be able to control the response of the other person. You CAN control your response – whether you are the hurt-er or the hurt-ee.
Sometimes you have to allow the other person to separate themselves for a time. They may need to go through a process before they can be ready to re-enter the relationship. In that time period, pray for them. Ask God to bless them, be with them, and to help them in their relationships.
I’m not someone who says that positive thinking will change anything except your attitude. However, there is a quote by author Robert H. Schuller that has helped me…
“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.”
Hold out Hope. It is a powerful motivator.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. How have you walked through the pain of a broken relationship? Shoot me an idea of another aspect of relationship you might want to hear about.