THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: DON’T JEOPARDIZE RELATIONSHIPS BECAUSE OF OFFENSE OR JUST TO PROVE YOU’RE RIGHT. Because, you could be wrong…or…the offense either wasn’t intended, or, it’s not as egregious as you think. Relationships can be complicated and messy. Whether it’s a marriage, children, friends, brethren, work colleagues or other more casual acquaintances we have in life. That’s why the Bible talks so much about love, forgiveness, overlooking faults and working hard to maintain the covenant bonds of relationship. Our relationships, whether friendship, family etc. should not be something we are willing to discard because our feelings have been hurt or we’ve been offended or we see something from a completely different point of view. Here is some Bible instruction: [1 Peter 4:8-9] “Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others]. Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” Does that ever take work! Relationships can bring out the worst in us if we are not careful. The closer we get to Jesus, the more we can love, so the challenge is to get closer. This is especially needful when we have genuinely been violated and wounded by the sin and selfishness of others. CAN YOU LOVE THEN? That is the great challenge of life, and of course we know what Jesus said about that. [Matthew 5:44-45a] “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, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…” Without this in place we are not ‘…sons of your Father in heaven!’ Love really is work. We have to work on ourselves, our own heart and attitudes. What we think about people, especially those around us that are ‘hard’ to love is a reflection of how close we are to God. Jesus loved at all times. The greatest, most compelling example is when, from the cross, in the height of suffering He said: “FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DO”. (Luke 23:34a) Why? How could He? Because it is who God is, perfect love, able to be expressed at all times. THAT IS OUR EXAMPLE. So today we should all be on our knees examining the quality of our relationship with Jesus Christ and how that is expressed in our relationships. DON’T JEOPARDIZE RELATIONSHIPS BECAUSE OF OFFENSE OR JUST TO PROVE YOU’RE RIGHT.
– Pastor Stephens