I ache to see so many relationships torn asunder. Whether in our marriages or in other relationships, these seven questions can help us treat others as we want others to treat us.

3 QUESTIONS TO GET OUR HEARTS RIGHT WITH GOD

  1. Do I want what God wants? Am I willing to do whatever God makes clear through His Word, even if it goes against how I feel? Our feelings of hurt and anger must not trump our obedience to God’s Word.
  2. Do I know what God wants? Have I studied God’s Word and confirmed my understanding through some mature church leaders?  He wants us to pursue peace with others.
  3. Do I STILL want what God wants? Now that I know what God wants and have counted the cost of obedience to God’s Word, am I still willing to pay the price?  Following God, as a general principle, seems easy. That is until we see the specifics that require sacrifice.  This is the point where we decide if we still really are Christ-followers.

2 QUESTIONS TO GET RIGHT WITH EACH OTHER

  1. Do I own my part of the mess? Have I examined myself first, being willing to deal with any sins I have committed, even if I did not intend to sin? Am I willing to ask the other person to tell me how I’ve hurt or disappointed them? The God-given humility to own our faults is essential for a good relationship.
  2. Do I give grace for the other’s part of the mess?  Have I offered forgiveness to the other person, restoring my judgment of charity while seeking reconciliation with them?  No one deserves grace, but we are to forgive as God has forgiven us in Christ. 

2 QUESTIONS TO HELP US DEAL WITH SPECIFIC ISSUES

  1. Do I speak the truth in love?  Have I expressed the judgment of charity about the other person’s motives, while being specific about their methods that bother me?  People in a relationship must learn to speak honestly while not being hurtful. 
  2. Do I wash feet?  Am I willing to depend on Jesus to help me change my self-focus to a servant-focus?  How can I show love to the other person by serving them today?  Forgiveness can get a relationship “out of debt.”  But it is serving one another out of love that “puts money in the bank.” 

 

-Gerhard deBock

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