Do you have any injured relationships in your life?
Broken hearts, hurt feelings, or grudges from the past are common among relationships. At some point we all have relationships, which have gone from bad to worst.
In fact, sometimes the people we have to be around, by default – blood relatives, in-laws, or co-workers – are people we wouldn’t choose to be around unless we had to be.
It’s true, isn’t it? And, the truth hurts sometimes, doesn’t it?
(Raise your hand if that’s your story.)
What should you do? How should you respond to the one who has hurt you the most – or who always seems to say the wrong thing – or who is, honestly, even mean at times? How do you respond to the most difficult relationships in your life?
You can’t control other people’s response – only yours, but how should you act in those injured relationships?
I want to encourage the Biblical approach.
Here are 6 tips for healthier, happier relationships:
Bite your tongue
When you are tempted to snap back – don’t. Sure, it will be difficult, even seemingly unfair at times, but see it as spiritual discipline training. (James 1:26) Memorize and learn to pray Psalm 141:3. (Look it up. It’s the first step towards learning it.)
Forgive. Let go of a grudge. Even though it may not be received well and nothing may change in the relationship, it will change you. (1 Peter 4:10, Colossians 3:13)
Put on another’s shoes
Anyone who hurts you has a story. Usually they were hurt too – by someone. Remember, hurt people hurt people. Think about where the other person is coming from before (or as) you encounter them. (Philippians 2:3-4)
Be honest, some relationships require more patience than you thought you had, don’t they? But, isn’t this what we are called to do as believers? It is a “fruit of the spirit”. (Colossians 3:12-14)
When we humble ourselves, we may get taken advantage of at times, but God always rewards humility. Who knows? It may be the break through in the relationship. (James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6)
Pray for them
The last one is sometimes the most difficult, but oh how Biblical! Prayer releases the burden to the burden bearer the One whose yoke is easy the One who paid for your sins. Prayer can even change the dynamics of a relationship. Pray for the awkward, difficult, shattered and broken relationships in your life and the people who caused them. In the most tense moments this holiday season, slip away and pray. (Matthew 5:44)
Apply liberally, as needed.
You’ll have healthier, happier relationships. Trust me.
Do you have a difficult relationship facing you? What tips do you have?