During the month of February, we have been talking about relationships. First, we discussed how we are all created to connect, then we discussed having healthy boundaries in relationships. You can see those messages here. This Sunday we are going to talk about restoring broken relationships.
Each of us has a variety of relationships in our lives- friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, children, etc. But there is one relationship that is paramount, and it is the same for all of us. That is our relationship with God.
The problem is, our relationship with God was broken a long time ago in the Garden of Eden with the introduction of sin. When Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they really did gain knowledge. They gained the knowledge of what life is like without God. And all of mankind has been struggling with that knowledge ever since.
The foundational relationship in all of our lives is the relationship between us and God. Without that, no other relationship will satisfy us. However, we as created, sinful beings are powerless to do anything to bridge the gap and fix our relationship with God.
"The foundational relationship in all of our lives is the relationship between us and God. Without that, no other relationship will satisfy us."
So, Jesus came. He came to suffer, be mocked, humiliated, and be rejected by both God and man. And there’s only one reason he came. He came so that our relationship with God might be restored and in turn, gave glory to the Father. God wanted to be in relationship with us so badly that he sent his only son to die. He gave up Jesus so he could be with us.
As we take a look at interpersonal conflict and how to deal with it this weekend, it’s important to remember the most crucial conflict- that between God and man. We can only deal with horizontal conflict between one another when the vertical conflict between us and God is healed. Jesus made that healing possible when he died on the cross.
Whether we have been Christians “our whole life” or are still figuring out what it is to live for Jesus, it is important to remember the significance of what Jesus did in our lives and for our relationships. He made it possible to have relationship. Having a healthy relationship with God opens the door to having healthy relationships with others.
In the same way, when we strive to rectify the horizontal conflict we have with others, it brings glory to God. Jesus is a relationship healer, and when we act in the same way, we reveal him to the world and bring him glory. Navigating conflict with each other can actually be an act of worship.
"Navigating conflict with each other can actually be an act of worship."
We need to follow Jesus’ example of putting relationship first. To Him, healthy relationships were more important than personal comfort, position, or reputation. As we continue to dig deeper into relating with each other this weekend, let’s not forget who made it all possible and the example He set for us.