Seven Ways We Can Guard and Repair Relationships
1. Let’s rejoice in one another, because the Lord rejoices in us.
Psalm 16:3 sets the overall tone: “As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” There is excellence to admire in every Christian. And it’s easy to discern. Two questions into a conversation and the excellence starts appearing.
2. Let’s create an environment of trust rather than negative scrutiny.
1 Corinthians 4:5 says, “Do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.” Human eyes are not competent to judge human hearts.
3. Let’s judge ourselves, even as we give each other the benefit of the doubt.
4. If a problem must be addressed, let’s talk to, not about. Gossip destroys.
Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.” The Lord didn’t say, “Go ask your brother his fault.” Let’s man up and tell him his sin. But let’s tell him to his face, rather than spread accusations around.
5. If a problem must be addressed, let’s avoid blanket statements but identify factual speciﬁcs, offer a positive path forward and preserve everyone’s dignity.
“You are ___________” is too sweeping to be fair. It leaves a person no freedom to change. Better to say, “In this situation, when you _____________, that was wrong. It would be helpful if, in the future, you would ______________. What do you think? And is there anything I can do that might help?”