We continue our study on making peace. We serve the God who is the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6), so we must always cooperate with Him.
Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Ps 34:14)
Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (Jas 3:18)
A very vital spiritual discipline is to pray for the other person involved in the broken relationship. Never try to “get even,” because that motivation does not come from the Spirit of God but from the pit of hell.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you . . . (Mt 5:44)
Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse. (Rom 12:14)
Make sure that no one repays evil for evil. Always pursue what is good for one another and for all people. (1 Thes 5:15)
If you’re the offended person and you receive a text, email, or note in the mail similar to what was described in our previous article, pray deeply and sincerely about your response. Weigh the pros and cons of what actually happened between you. Was it an uncommon occurrence on the other person’s part? Was it out of the ordinary or some kind of misunderstanding?
Ask the Lord to give you His supernatural grace to forgive; and understand that when you ask Him to do something according to His will (1 Jo 5:14-15), that He hears you and gives you exactly what you’ve requested.
Remember that you are also forgiven by the Lord. The Lord said: But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Mt 6:15)
If you’re able to forgive the other person, it is a victory for the Kingdom of God! And it will enrich your life and the lives of those who may be aware of the problem. Forgiveness and reconciliation is a testimony to God’s goodness, mercy, and grace.
If you honestly and sincerely feel that the circumstance(s) that caused a rift between you was a predictable event, and that it will certainly happen again, then you still need to forgive the person. But you can choose NOT to resume a relationship with the person who hurt you. However, you should respond to their overture and let them know that you do forgive them, and that you wish them the very best. You can then indicate that due to the history between you, you feel it’s best for you that you don’t resume a relationship with them.
In following these guidelines, you will have cooperated with the other person (and with God) in establishing peace between you. (2 Cor 13:11) God bless you.