If a chair fails to hold me up, I’m not going to trust that chair unless I know there’s been a change in its structural integrity. The same is true regarding trusting someone who has deeply hurt me. I can’t really trust that person until I know he or she has really changed, which is both a biblical and reasonable expectation (Luke 17:3; Matt 18:15-17).

Restored relationships are priceless because they affect so many, including God. In order for real change to take place within a person, there must be godly sorrow. The Bible is clear that godly sorrow is a prerequisite for genuine internal change (II Corinthians 7:10). In working with many broken relationships at Lighthouse we have seen two essential components that are an evidence of godly sorrow and true change where a person becomes healthy, safe and trustworthy.

1) Understanding. An offending person may not be able to totally feel the pain and wrong he/she has inflicted but they can get to a place where they can understand the impact of their actions (1 Peter 3:8, Proverbs 14:10). Until they really get it, their apologies will be shallow. This understanding isn’t an intellectual insight but rather an enlightenment of the heart. It’s an understanding that God gives which leads to brokenness and godly sorrow.

A person who experiences brokenness over their wrong is a person who is prepared to experience real change. The brokenness will bring humility which will open the door for God’s grace to change (I Peter 5:5).

2) Responsibility. A person of moral strength can be trusted and will take full responsibility for personal failures. There is a place to identify mistakes and unhelpful behavior by both parties in the relationship so the relationship can become healthier and more meaningful. Yet when a person shifts blame, even so slightly onto another, it signals that the person is not strong enough to stay healthy and safe. It reveals that they are at the mercy of others or situations dealing kindly with them.

It’s a natural instinct to resist guilt. Even those who are quick to say they are sorry may not be accepting full responsibility. God is the One who can override our instincts and give us the desire and ability to accept full responsibility.

It’s wonderful news that God wants to restore us and our relationships. If you’ve been a victim, forgive but wait for real change. If you’ve been an offender choose to allow the Holy Spirit free reign in your life so that you can have understanding and take responsibility. It will be worth it!

We pray that you will experience His healing in your broken relationships. We pray for you and thank you for supporting us so we can help individuals and families find healing a real change through Christ.

Blessings,

.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. CJ

    Excellent Larry! Thanks!

  2. Earle Finley

    Larry,

    Very wise counsel.

    Blessings,

    Earle

  3. Janis

    perfect!

  4. Karen Zilen

    Hi Larry,

    This is so well thought out and so well written. As they say here in ‘jolly ‘ole England’, “spot on”. Thank you Larry. this touches on an area we see people struggle with all the time, oursleves included, as we encouter ’emotionally/spiritually immature people who continue to damage others. I’m printnig this out to take with me where ever we go in case we don’t have power for our computer. Missing you guys. sure would be great to get to work with you on some of these things :-).
    Your sister in Christ, Karen

  5. Sue McGee Wind

    You have always been so wise, perceptive, and trustworthy. Thank you for the person you are.

  6. Ann Johnson

    Larry, the church needs this word from God so much! Thanks for your courage and boldness. Park it there and preach, Brother!

    We love you guys,
    Ann

  7. stephanie sudano

    how wonderfully clear….thanks for your wonderful teaching.

  8. Jerry Smith

    Wonderful words Larry! Love you all and pray for you often.

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