Restoring Relationships: First Talk to God
By Rick Warren
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? . . . You desire but you do not have . . . You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:1-2 NIV).
The first biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to talk to God before talking to the person.
Discuss the problem with God. If you’ll pray about the conflict first instead of gossiping to a friend, you’ll often discover that either God changes your heart or he changes the other person without your help.
All your relationships would go more smoothly if you would just pray more about them. As David did with his psalms, use prayer to ventilate vertically. Tell God your frustrations. Cry out to him. He’s never surprised or upset by your anger, hurt, insecurity, or any other emotions. So tell him exactly how you feel.
Most conflict is rooted in unmet needs, and some of these needs can only be met by God. When you expect anyone — a friend, spouse, pastor, or family member — to meet a need that only God can fulfill, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and bitterness. There are many needs that only God meet.
The apostle James noted that many of our conflicts are caused by prayerlessness: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? . . . You desire but you do not have . . . You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:1-2 NIV).
Instead of looking to God, we look to others to make us happy and then get angry when they fail us. God says, “Why don’t you come to me first?”
Talk It Over
What is the first thing you usually do when you have a conflict with someone?
Why do you think our first inclination is often to gossip about a conflict?
Does your prayer life reflect that only God can meet all your needs? Why or why not?
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When you’ve had all the “crazy” you can take…
Do you have a relationship that drives you crazy? Maybe it’s a spouse, sibling, parent, co-worker, or the crazy relative that really pushes your buttons.
Pastor Rick shows how you can turn crazy relationships into peaceful ones through his You Make Me Crazy Study Kit.
This 6-week video study includes a DVD and study guide—and helps you . . .
• Reconcile with the people who drive you crazy
• Start healing from past hurts caused by others
• Understand the emotions simmering beneath people’s words
• Turn conflict into cooperation
• Offer God’s immeasurable love even when it’s hard
The You Make Me Crazy Study Kit is our thank you for your gift to share the hope of Jesus Christ through Daily Hope! Request your copy today when you give below.
May it help you learn to love even the most difficult people in your life.
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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