Pastors help people deal with problems.  Relationship problems are what I deal with most.   The most difficult thing is to help people see that a pancake has TWO sides.  That BOTH parties have contributed.  In very few cases is one person COMPLETELY innocent… though it does occur.

I came to that conclusion in my own life.  In all a few situations, I had a part in there being a rift between me and the other person.  I said or did something unwittingly that offended them… I may have done something in an insensitive manner on purpose (Ouch)… By neglect I let the relationship fail by not being there for them when they needed me… or they did something unwittingly that hurt me and I played the martyr.  Bottom line, I did contribute.  Matthew 7:3-5…

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matthew 18:15 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

1 Corinthians 6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 4 If you have such cases… 5 Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers… 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?

In these passages we find the principles for restoring broken relationships.

First… Examine yourself according to Psalm 139:23-24.  Only God can reveal to you your contribution to a damaged relationship.

Second… Remove whatever God reveals to you that has been your contribution to the situation.  It may mean that you ask for forgiveness before you bring up anything to the other person.

Third… Go to the person BY YOURSELF.  Before you talk to anyone else about the person or situation, go to the person on your own.

Fourth… The goal must be restoration of the relationship!  If you go to: 1) Make your point, 2) Set them right, or 3) Put them in their place… you have already lost.  As Paul wrote in Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live at peace with all…”

Fifth… If all those fail, seek help and counsel from Godly believers (1 Cor 6:1-5).

Sixth… If that fails, be willing to take the hit, be willing to “lose,” be willing to be defrauded (1 Cor 6:7).  The reason is that the reputation of The King and the Faith is more important than you winning.