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For the week of September 18, 2023 Mending the Brokenness

As human beings, it just feels “right” to have unity and wholeness in our lives. Happy relationships with the people around us keep us grounded and give us a sense that we can cope better with whatever life throws at us. This is why it’s so unsettling when we’re struggling with a critical spirit in a relationship. However, this isn’t what God wants for us; His Word therefore equips us with what we need to make things right.

Jesus Christ went to the cross and suffered brokenness and a severed relationship with the Father so that we would never have to suffer that kind of pain. He knew the enemy would work against us to destroy the joyful relationships that God wants to bless us with, so He gave His life to prevent that. We can’t possibly have good friendships with each other until we become friends with God, first. No one can come to the Father except through Jesus, because Jesus is the Father.

Jesus perfectly modeled what godly friendships should look like; we stumble when we deviate from that pattern, even a little. Characteristics of the grace-based relationships that benefit both parties include unselfish love and loyalty, but not criticism. A friend loves at all times and is always loyal. This is completely different from the relationships we often see in the world, in which our “friends” can criticize us when we don’t measure up to their expectations.

Another difference is the quality of the relationship itself. Healthy friendships aren’t marked by the bitter quarrels and strife that the world accepts as normal. God takes a dim view of strife; it’s to our honor to avoid it, but He warns us that “every fool is quick to quarrel.” Letting God’s favor determine who we surround ourselves with enables Him to protect all our relationships.

Prayer:

Lord, You love us so much that You made it possible for us to have a loving relationship with You. Unlike under the law, under grace we can now enjoy friendship with You. Thank You for teaching us how to use Your Word to mend our own broken relationships. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scriptures:

1 Corinthians 11:24

Matthew 27:45

Mark 15:34

John 14:6

John 10:30

Proverbs 17:17, NIV

Proverbs 17:17, NLT

Proverbs 20:3, NIV
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