Relationship Under Repair

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another. —

Ephesians 4:32


Are you easy to get along with? Do you have a good relationship with your spouse or your friends? Then you probably aren't guilty of the following behaviors:

•criticizing instead of praising

•using insensitive words

•neglecting others

•making jokes at another's expense

•not listening

•refusing to admit wrong

•being rude

•belittling others' opinions


These kinds of behavior will wreck relationships and hinder the healing of past hurts.

For a good example of the way to strengthen relationships, read the apostle Paul's short letter to Philemon, a wealthy resident of Colosse. The subject is Onesimus, Philemon's slave, who had stolen from him and fled to Rome. There Onesimus met Paul, who led him to a saving knowledge of Jesus. The letter is Paul's kind, compassionate appeal to Philemon to accept Onesimus back—now as a brother. It's a great example of love in action.

Although Onesimus deserved Philemon's punishment, Paul called him a "son" (v.10) and a "beloved brother" (v.16). He said he would repay what Onesimus had stolen.


Paul knew how to restore a relationship. Do we?


By Dave Branon

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