Posts Tagged ‘arguments’

Repairing and Restoring

June 20th, 2014

“You shall be the ‘Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.’” Isaiah 58:12 NKJV.

Once broken, few things are as difficult to repair or replace as trust.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “repairing and restoring.”

Broken. What image comes to mind? Discarding something that doesn’t matter and won’t be missed? Or holding something broken but now irreplaceable? Everyone has experienced something being broken. Sometimes, that may be trust, or hearts, or friendships. Sometimes, you may be responsible, or it may have been someone else. Remember this: many things can often be fixed, or easily replaced. People, not so easily.

Friendships and family relationships are the most priceless and irreplaceable things that you are ever privileged to have and hold. The longer you have had them, the more irreplaceable they become. Hold them carefully with the fondness and regard they deserve. Once broken, few things are as difficult to repair or replace as trust. When harsh words, thoughtless actions, improper conduct or just unintended neglect breach the trust level in a relationship, there comes a growing distance between hearts that is often felt even before it is known. Brokenness must be repaired and trust restored promptly and fully. Read Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV/Psalm 133:1-3 NIV.

Move wisely, but quickly, to bridge relational separation. Doing so both minimizes the damage and demonstrates the value you place on the individual and relationship. No one promises it would be easy. “It’s harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars. Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.” Proverbs 18:19-20 NLT. Delay gives unhealthy, even unholy, opportunity for imagination to misinterpret and magnify offences.

David felt the traumatic pain of a friend’s disloyalty. “It is not an enemy who taunts me – I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me – I could have hidden from them.  Instead, it is you – my equal, my companion and close friend.  What good fellowship we enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.” Psalm 55:12-14 NLT. Misunderstandings occur between the best of people, but the person and relationship are always more important than your hurt feelings or disappointment.

You are called to live in communion with God and in unity with one another. Communion suffers where unity is lacking. “Live in harmony with each other. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.” Romans 12:15-18 NLT. You cannot control what others choose, but you are responsible for what you choose to do, either initially or in reaction to another person.

When you break another’s trust, apologize quickly and ask forgiveness sincerely. When your trust has been broken, forgive unilaterally and immediately, asking God for His sufficient grace. Remember all you have been forgiven. ”Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall be called the ‘Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.’” Isaiah 58:12 NKJV. There are blessings if you do and consequences when you don’t. And what will the Lord do for you, when you repair and restore? “’For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 30:17 NAS.

Today, my prayer for you is to be first to offer forgiveness and the last to inflict harm.

A personal note: today’s devotional thoughts mark a milestone for EDL of 1,100 devotionals in the archives available at the website for you at –

They cover a wide spectrum of helpful Bible verses and practical topics for you to browse at your leisure, consult for personal study, share with a friend, neighbor, or co-worker, or use as a resource for leading a Bible Study. Gayle and I thank each of you for your appreciation and partnership in the ministry of EveryDay Life . . Blessings!

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March 28th, 2012

“It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife.” Proverbs 20:3 NIV

A person who always has to be right will live a lonely and unhappy life.”

My thoughts and comments today are about “quarrels.”

Did you ever watch a couple of preschoolers quarrel? Not a very pretty sight. They are stubborn and resolute. Both want their way with no thought of there being a better way. They both think they are right and the other is wrong, or they don’t even care who is right or wrong. They just want what they want. Shouldn’t we grow out of that kind of self-centeredness? Children will be children, but adults should be adults. “It’s like this: when I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 NLT. Quarrels are childish things.

Many disagreements are little more than a difference of opinion or objective. If the same person requires being deferred to in every discussion or decision, then their relationship is mere pretense. It is unrealistic to think that everyone will have the same opinion as you all the time, or that you will agree with everyone else every time. What do you do? Solomon gave wise advice: “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife.” Proverbs 20:3 NIV. Avoid strife! Before reacting, filter your feelings and process your thoughts. Look inside yourself for a possible solution.

At those moments, your initial response is extremely important to what follows. Remember; always, the goal is to resolve differences not escalate them into a quarrel. Here’s God’s way; “Show your love by being tolerant with one another. Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together.” Ephesians 4:1-3 TEV.

On a practical side, the issue is not usually about who is right or wrong; ordinarily, both are a bit of each. Instead, your mutual objective should be to find common ground for some measure of agreement that allows everyone involved to move forward together. When disagreement is obvious, choose not to be disagreeable or become personal. At those rare times that no solution can be found that satisfies all concerned, agree to disagree and be gracious in your respect. Sometimes life requires willingness to compromise to achieve a common good. Not every difference has to be resolved your way in order for the universe to be at rest.

There are times in marriages, friendships, churches, and business, when a relationship may be more important than the disagreement. The person who always has to be right will soon live a very lonely and unhappy life. The need to be right every time is not a sign of brilliant superiority; it is more an indicator of immaturity and/or self-importance. Is the quarrel more important to you or the friend? You might win the quarrel but lose the friend. Read James 3:13-18 NIV.

Keep your words pleasant and respectful just in case you have to eat them later. Perfection from yourself or another is not a realistic expectation. If you keep that in mind, you will be more tolerant when a friend holds an opinion other than yours. The Bible’s counsel of “In honor, preferring one another” comes to mind as a relational guideline on such occasions. Romans 12:10 NKJV.

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it.” James 4:1-2 NKJV.  Let’s face it; getting your own way every time is not particularly healthy and doesn’t exactly prepare you for cooperative relationships. Your parents may have allowed you the illusion, or your spouse may defer for the sake of peace, but you will need people in your life with the responsibility to speak truthfully into your life when you most need that, and even when you may least want it. That’s what a good and Godly friend does.

My prayer for you today is that you would prefer to be righteous above just being right.

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