God blesses us all with diverse relationships in our lives ranging from spouses, to friends, to extended kin folk. Though we would like for these relationships to always go smoothly, it does not work out that way. When someone does us wrong, we never quite feel the same way about them. The same goes for other people when we wrong them. So when the plan to never step on toes falls through, what is one to do? What is the best way to fix it, and maintain healthy relationships? You may have heard the saying, “Don’t go to bed angry with your spouse.” Well the same applies to others as well. Don’t let the sun go down on anger between you and anyone. This brings us to our key text coming out of Matthew 5:22 — 25a (KJV). The Word of the Lord reads:
22 But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosovever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift 25a Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him…
If, by chance, we rub someone the wrong way in any way, we should not ignore the situation and let hard feelings fester. Proverbs 18:19 (KJV) tells us that “a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.” Hence, letting a fight drag on only makes the relationship harder to save and affects how others see Christ in us. Perhaps better stated, we do not want a nasty attitude to hinder others being able to see Christ in us. Squash the conflict without delay. It is not always easy to do, especially when we think we’re right, but it is not worth the unravelling of a relationship.
Furthermore, this is not just about us and our personal feelings towards another person. Conflicts with others affect our relationship with God. The scripture above tells us not to be angry with anyone without cause and that doing so does not please God. It continues to say that before entreating the Lord, we need to make sure that we have resolved any conflicts we may have with others. If for some reason you find yourself having a hard time making things right with someone for the sake of that person, do it for your sake and your relationship with Christ.
Have a blessed day!
Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.