Because we aren't thoroughly convinced of God's unconditional love, we place enormous demands on others and ourselves. When the standards of performance aren't met, we have difficulty accepting God's love and forgiveness, and we withhold those things from others.
In order to protect ourselves, we tend to shy away from conflict. Often we choose to forfeit relationships or settle for less than adequate ones rather than risking the unpleasantness of confrontation and change.
But with God's help, we can learn to benefit from the very relationships that seem the most troubling. In resolving difficult issues, we don't have to allow conflict to drive us apart. We can use it as a catalyst for growth.
READ: Matt. 18:15-20; Matt. 18:21-35; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 17:3-4; Eph. 4:31-32; Eph. 5:1-2
HEART ISSUE: Is there a relationship in your life to which the grace of God needs to be applied?
PRAYER FOCUS: Father, thank You for enabling us to understand that at the heart of the gospel is the ministry of reconciliation. Though we were once at enmity with You, we have been mercifully forgiven and gloriously restored to our rightful place. Help us to see past personal needs that give rise to conflicts in our relationships. Cause us to reflect Your grace in our dealings with others. Amen.