Romans 5:8. “But God commends his love in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”.
· Commends = 4921 = to demonstrate, to prove, to exhibit, to show what He is like.
· Gods love is revealed by how he treats us “while we are still in a sinful condition”.
· Gods Love: • Acknowledges the true state of the relationship.
• Initiates action to restore the relationship
• Pays a personal price to restore the relationship
• Sets boundaries to protect His own character.
Matthew 5:21-24. “Leave your gift – go – first be reconciled”
· The Pharisees were only concerned with the external behaviour – doing the right thing.
· If the external is ok it did not matter what was unresolved. (Hate, anger, bitterness in the heart.)
· Jesus revealed Gods original intention to walk in Love.
I.e. More important to have your heart right then perform outward religious actions.
· Anger without a cause = hatred = murder.
· First Priority = Reconciled = to change the mind, restore to favour.
= to bring back into unity 2 people separated/hostile.
(i) God commands us. 1John 4:20-21. “This command we have….love your brother?
(ii) God calls us to Represent Him. 2 Cor 5:20. “We are ambassadors for Christ.”
Eph 5:1-2. Be followers of God…walk in Love
(iii) God empowers us for ministry of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:18
(iv) God warns us of consequences of broken relationships. Matt 18:34-35
Matt 18:15-17. “If your brother trespasses against you…go to him.”
· Trespass = 264 = to sin, miss the mark, offend.
· The trespass may be.
(a) Real - he sinned against you or reacted with words/actions
- he treated you unjustly or unfairly
(b) Perceived - he actually did nothing to harm you.
- You may have misinterpreted the actions
- his words/actions may have been misrepresented to you.
· Real or imagined – the hurt/pain, anger is felt
· What are you going to do about it?
Prov 18:8. The words of a talebearer are as “wounds’
· The most common response – hurt – anger – reaction.
· Talk to someone else and speak out of hurt.
· Speak to retaliate – justifying self and accusing the offender
· The result: • The offence increases and is reinforced
• The offence spreads sowing discord. (Prov 6:16-18)
(Don’t let people download their offences on you – You are not a trash can.)
(“Why are you telling me this? Are your facts right? Did you go to them?)
The Key Steps:
1) Prepare your Heart
· Don’t go in hurt, angry or frustrated
· Must restore feelings and issues in the presence of God first
· Go with the right purpose, to restore the relationship or change behaviour.
2) Choose the Right Time and Place
· Timing is important
· Don’t do this if the other person is busy
· Don’t do this in the presence of others
· Arrange a suitable time and place to meet alone. (Matt 18:15)
3) Speak Directly
· Affirm the value of the relationship
· Identify the words or actions that have offended
· Explain how you feel/ how it has impacted you/ have you perceived it.
· Ask for an explanation – You may have got it wrong.
· Don’t approach with your mind made up – listen with an open heart.
· E.g. God and Adam. Gen 3:8-13. God asked questions and listened before any judgment was pronounced.
· E.g. Peter and Ananauas/Sophia. Acts 5:1-6. “Is it true?”
· E.g. Joshua and the 2 tribes. Josh 22:15-30. “Is it true?”
5) Own your own Part.
· You may have contributed to the problem.
· The person may become defensive and blame you.
· Own your own part – even if only 10% - Apologise.
· Apology: - “I was wrong – I am sorry – Please forgive me”
6) If He Repents, Forgive.
· God offers forgiveness to all sinners – repentance essential to receive it.
· The person may not directly apologise – accept indirect efforts.
· E.g. Jacob did not apologise to Esau – but offered gifts.
· You may need to set new boundaries on the relationship
· E.g. Jacob – set boundaries – did not expose himself to him again.