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Maintenance is a Must

Called 2 Love Like Jesus Maintenance is a Must

Healthy relationships need constant attention and a commitment to personal responsibility. Avoiding extreme repairs to relationships requires that each of us give a frequent account to God for our own choices and behavior (Romans 14:12). We often think that only conflicted relationships need attention, but the healthiest relationships are constantly worked on and carefully maintained. Every type of relationship will benefit from the following scriptural principles that teach us how to keep relationships healthy and whole.

From Extreme Home Makeover by Terri Snead

In relationships where there's a love like Jesus, individuals deal immediately with any misunderstanding, hurt, or issue that might promote anger. The passage suggests that anger should not be internalized or go unresolved because unresolved hurt may lead to the painful emotions of bitterness, fear, guilt, condemnation, and despair. We can see how God's admonition in Ephesians is meant for our good because these painful emotions have been linked to insomnia, high-blood pressure, anxiety, and headaches. There are no perfect relationships. All relationships will inevitably experience hurt or conflict, and yet it is our reluctance to deal with these conflicts promptly that can cause us to internalize negative emotions that God never intended for us to bear. Jesus has a master plan for maintaining close relationships. It's up to us to use his tools!

Maintaining close relationships and loving like Jesus means dealing with conflict by sharing truth and sharing truth with a motive of love. This Bible verse tells us what to speak: the truth. whenever there is a conflict in interpersonal relationships, seek the truth. Many times, a lack of accurate information leads to our relational conflict. Therefore, talking through a situation, getting the facts, and clearing the air will dissolve many conflicts. Proverbs 18:17 says, "The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him" (NIV). This proverb reminds us: There are always two sides to every story.

Ephesians 4:15 also speaks about how the truth should be spoken and how it should be delivered. Armed with the truth, we are not to wield it as a weapon, using the truth to destroy or hurt other people. We must share the truth in love. This means that as we speak truth to another person, it must be done with a respectful tone of voice and with an agenda of restoring peace within the relationship. If we ignore either admonition in Ephesians 4:15, we can bring destruction to a relationship. If we are reluctant to share the truth, choosing instead to "hide" it, our relationships are susceptible to anger, bitterness, guilt or fear. If we ignore the admonition to share truth in love, our relationships are prone to more conflict because of our tendency to "hurl" the truth at others. "Hiders" don't' share the truth. "Hurlers" share the truth but not in love. Both approaches can produce disastrous results. "Healers" share the truth in love.

A Spirit-empowered disciple loves God's Word and lives it out—doing what it says not just hearing or knowing what it says.

Much love and prayers, Pastor Mike. PS Mike would like to visit with you, preferably at home sometime, just to connect, listen and pray together. You can set up an appointment yourself by clicking here and choosing a day/time.

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