July 18, 2017
Be “kind to one another… forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). There is no perfect relationship because there are no perfect people. In your relationship, compensate for human imperfection by being ready to FORGIVE and to BE FORGIVEN. You will be offended; kindly extend forgiveness. And you will offend; humbly ask for forgiveness, the power that revives, the river that supplies, the spine that sustains every long-term relationship.
July 17, 2017
Relationship hurts, and relationship heals. During a mission trip, Paul was so offended by Mark’s desertion that he and Barnabas parted ways over Mark’s behavior (Acts 15:36-40). But years later, Paul instructed Timothy, “Get Mark and bring him…because he is useful to me…” (2 Tim. 4:11). Our deepest wounds are inflicted within relationship, but total healing from those wounds must come through relationship. LORD, deliver from the isolation trap; teach me NOT to withdraw from everyone, especially when I’ve been hurt by people.