On Friendships

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift

If you keep bailing out of relationships every time they hit troubled waters, get used to your own company – it’s the only company you’ll have!The best relationship you can hope for is an imperfect one you keep working on every day. Relationships can’t be based on seeing eye-to-eye on all points, but on a commitment to love each other and a willingness to work for peace. Jesus said, ‘God blesses those who work for peace…’ (Matthew 5:9 NLT). Notice, peacemaking is ‘work’, but the rewards are worth it.Relationships are always worth restoring. God wants us to value our relationships instead of discarding them every time there’s a problem. Paul wrote, ‘If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you… Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends…’ (Philippians 2:1-2 TM). Our ability to get along with each other is a mark of spiritual maturity. God wants His family to be known for their love. Strife and bickering send the wrong message to a watching world. Paul was embarrassed when the church in Corinth started splitting into warring factions and taking each other to court. ‘Shame on you!’ he wrote. ‘Surely there is at least one wise person… who can settle a dispute between fellow Christians’ (1 Corinthians 6:5 GNT). He was shocked and disappointed that nobody was mature enough to resolve the conflict peacefully. So he wrote, ‘I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other.’
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