Ask the Pastor: What to do when you make a mistake in a relationship?

Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Pastor's Blog | 0 comments

Is it time to make amends?

Is it time to make amends?

We should all cherish and honor our friends and family.  After all Jesus told us to love our enemies.  How much more would He expect from us when it comes to friends and family?  I have seen over the years that there are a few people that have a constant struggle with their relationships.  They alienate their family and friends, sometimes permanently.   They persist in the idea there is nothing they can do about it.  And they often find ways to justify why it isn’t their fault, when deep in their heart they can go back to the moment it all happened and remember what they said or did.

Now I know it takes two to hold people apart but when something happens too frequently the others that have their part in this simply say this is too much work.  I love them and want them in my life when they are balanced and happy,  I just don’t want the pain of the attacks when they aren’t.  A loving friend may even start to blame themselves as they walk away wishing them some form of happiness in their lives.  They will have given up in hope that their desires for that friend or loved one will still come true and one day they will be happy.

The results is however, most of the time the one who attacks and is unhappy continues to separate and justify their behavior, often too embarrassed to make amends.  After all if they really wanted me in their lives they would come to me.  So what do you do if you are the one that knows yous started  the offense.  You might ask yourself how many other relationships have gone this way.  You might even take a look at all the good things you miss not having that friend or family in your life.

Some other time I might write another blog post for those of us that wait for the person to fix the problem they started.  But, for now, I would like to address the one that knows they messed up an important relationship and are ready to do something about it.

First step if you find yourself outside a relationship that has been important to you and you want to have be made right, is to own it.  That’s right own the fact that you made a mistake.  Look at the moment you knew that it went too far.  Own the things you said that you knew hurt and caused often deep pain in the other person’s heart.  Take time and ask yourself if your personal assault was warranted.  Own the pain it might of caused and understand why they have left or aren’t talking to you.

Second step is to fix it.  That’s right step up and apologize.  The words I am sorry often seem like pulling teeth.  But answer me this,  is the relationship worth 5-10 mins of embarrassment over a lifetime of separation.   Or do you tell others how tough you are and how that one relationship is just one of many disappointments in your life.  You knew all along they weren’t that tight with you.  That my friend is just justification for not fixing it.  You need to do a heart check and remember the times that they helped you or changed your life.  Five minuets of courage to save a relationship is not too much to ask from yourself.

Next step is to embrace it.  You know you made a mistake.  You knew when you where in the middle of it that you where stepping into a mess.  You knew even for a moment what you where about to say or write would hurt them and you did it anyway.  Embrace your mistake, recognize  you may have over reacted or said something way over the top.  This will go a long ways if you can do this while you are working on the fix it stage.

Lastly don’t repeat the habit of hurting.  I know this should go unsaid but if you will pay attention to the way you talk to people you will be more likely able to stop this from happening because of something you said or did.  If you get into the habit of asking yourself one question “Is what I am about to say going to show them love?” then you can ask the Holy Spirit to show you the fruits of the spirit in that moment.  You can find your own joy, peace , harmony, and self discipline by relying on the Holy Spirit to guide and counsel you.

I will close with this, remember we are called not to judge or condemn, but we are encourage by Christ to speak life into one another that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  Be a life bringer in your relationships and watch what gifts God has for you.  You will grow and plant many more relationships and God will show you all that He has prepared for you.  Your life will glorify God and you will have a peace that goes beyond understanding.

Be blessed and be a blessing!

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