Keep the door open and the welcome mat out

When it comes to strained relationships, keeping the door open and the welcome mat out is typically the right choice.

These are intentional decisions we can all make. My question is have you decided to do that in the troubled relationships in your life? I am not recommending you do this for someone who is unsafe for you to be with, either physically or emotionally, but what about everybody else?

If we are honest, many of us would have to admit this is a decision we must intentionally make every holiday with certain members of the family. And there is a constant hazard. You may be tempted to say, “I am over it. I don’t have time for this. I quit.”

Remember, the goal cannot be to fix it or fix them. The goal is to live with no regret. This is a decision that will help you stay healthy. It keeps the hurt connected to a source. What would that relationship look like now if you decided to apply Romans 12:18 and you decided that as much as it depends on you, you are going to do your best to live at peace with everyone?

That is the way to live with no regrets from this day forward. I believe this is how with God’s help we can write a new and better relational story.

When I think it is too much and I have stretched as far as I can stretch, I want to remember what my heavenly father did for me. By his grace, I want to do for others what Jesus did for me.

The good news is that broken relationships can be restored. My greatest hope is that your relationship with your heavenly father is the healthiest of all. It is easier to talk about reconciliation and relational health, whether it is with God or others, than to do something about it. Just remember, it will be worth the effort.

Unfortunately, some relationships can never be restored because the other person has died. I want to invite you to bring that hurt, the sadness and the pain you feel right now to God. He is the one who can heal, he can cleanse and he can forgive. And you can decide to learn from the lessons of the past.

God will give you the wisdom and the courage to live life forward and to apply the truth of his word as you seek to not only be a hearer of the word but to be a doer, as well.

Steve Greene is the lead pastor at The Point in Seymour. Email him at [email protected]. His weekly blog can be found at Send comments to [email protected].