I was reminded recently of the importance of family and friends. My parents have recently spent ten weeks with us in the States. They live in Australia, and so we do not see them on a regular basis. We had a wonderful time with them and every day was special. Saying goodbye was difficult because when your dad is almost ninety, and your mom eighty six, there is a distinct possibility that you will not see them again—and believe me that is really hard!
Recently a friend of mine lost one of her family members. It was a sad story of family feuds and disunity. It made me think of the incredible importance of our relationships. And yet many of us will throw a relationship away—burn all our bridges because of an offense. Is it worth it? I think not and here is why:
1. Life is too short to have enemies: I cannot believe that I am almost sixty. Where did the years go? I remember my children playing in the sand and making mud pies and now my grand children are doing those things. The bible says in James 4: 14: "You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." My friend, time on earth is short, there is no time to have enemies. It takes too long to build relationships, why let them go in a split second.
2. Most disagreements are over trivialities: I guarantee you that if you ask people who have not spoken to each other for many years they cannot remember what the real issue is. When they actually boil it all down it is so petty and silly that it is probably not worth mentioning the issue. Or the issue has so built up in their minds over the months and years that it is not actually reality.
3. Communication is the key to healing relationships: Often our relationships fracture because of misunderstandings. Once you have been humble and courageous enough to confront the person you realize how misunderstood you were or the other person was. That is why you need to talk. Don't play the silent game and stop talking, sending emails or phoning. That is childish! Open the discussion and say: "Lets talk." Or the alternative is to put on your big shoes and forget the issue and move forward.
4. Learn the power of the word 'sorry': Yes, don't wait for the other person to say sorry—you say that one powerful little word and don't be surprised by the results. Enough said.
5. Rebuilding a bridge can take a long time so don't burn your bridge: Sometimes hurts go so deep, and people wallow in self pity to such an extent that even when you want to build a bridge back it is impossible. So the lesson is: Don't burn your bridges.
Someone out there needs to be bold today. There is a relationship that is going south and you need to do something about it. My friend, life is way too short to have enemies. Be humble, be courageous and do what is right.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,