Day 20: Restoring Broken Fellowship – 40 Days of Purpose-Driven Life

Purpose #2: You Were Formed for God’s Family

Point to Ponder: Relationships are always worth restoring.

Verse to Remember: “Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.” — Romans 12:18 (TEV)

Question to Consider: Who do I need to restore a broken relationship with today?

[Read More] thoughts on Day 20 of Rick Warren‘s Purpose-Driven Life* including what it means to be a peacemaker, and thus a son of God.

Today’s topics is one of those things which (to me) seems so blindingly obviously and absolutely crucial to the Christian life, I am perpetually shocked by otherwise devout believers who not only refuse to practice it, but deny that God even calls them to forgive “that” (whatever ‘that’ may be in their particular context).

We touched on the why of forgiveness earlier, so I won’t belabor the point, but merely summarize Rick’s how:

1. Talk to God before talking to the person
2. Always take the initiative
3. Sympathize with their feelings
4. Confess your part of the conflict
5. Attack the problem, not the person
6. Cooperate as much as possible
7. Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution

I deeply appreciate his robust approach to reconciliation, and desperately hope more Christians learn to practice this (arguably) most difficult of disciplines. To me, this is the ultimate test of how well we really understand the cross of Christ, and what it means for us to be forgiven by God. There’s nothing anyone can do to me which is even close to how badly I’ve treated God, and if Christ can forgive me on the cross — even before I repented, or even knew of him — what right have to avoid forgiving my brother?

That, I suspect, is why peacemakers are called the Sons of God: it is both as noble — and as difficult — as the cross.

Prayer: God, you know the frailty of my flesh, and my damnable pride that gets in the way of authentic, humble confrontation and reconciliation. Lord, in your mercy, save me from myself — that I may show mercy to others, and save them from themselves. That we all might live — together — the blessed life you’ve called us to. I ask this in Jesus name, and by the power of His cross, Amen.