Fix It!

Can you repair every relationship?

imageShe sat in my living room with tears in her eyes asking to renew our friendship, asking for healing between us, wanting our relationship to feel warm and whole again. And I told her no.

Perhaps you think me hard-hearted or selfish, and I know that I am. But in this case, I was gently releasing a mismatched relationship that I still do not believe resulted from any sin in either of us. It’s an example of a conflict I see a lot – not a conflict between people, but an inner conflict that stems from a faulty expectation of human relationships. We think they can all be fixed. We think that it is our responsibility to fix them, and we think that if we haven’t fixed them then we have necessarily done something wrong.

It is quite possible for a person to do nothing wrong, humanly speaking, and still experience disrupted relationships. Don’t misunderstand me; it is often true that we have sinned or miscommunicated, and we DO need to repair our relationships. It is a wonderful thing to begin with a humble attitude which examines our own words and actions, asks for forgiveness and struggles to love others well. But having done those things and maintained that attitude does not guarantee that all our social connections will be peaceful and fulfilling. We need only think about Jesus’ relationships to know this is true.

Humans are limited. They cannot be all things to all people. They have limited time, knowledge, relational capacity and strength. There will be failures, disappointments and endings that do not result from any malice or sin on anyone’s part.

Humans change. Unlike God, we do not stay exactly the same. We grow, we learn, we age, we move away. We change. And that means two people who used to fit together in a certain way can become uncomfortable together. Moving forward may require effort, conversation or even letting go – without implying that anyone has failed.

Humans are sinful. Sometimes the sin we are experiencing is not our own; it is someone else’s. And there may or may not be anything we can do about that.

So the next time you hear that insistent voice telling you to “fix it,” give that a real shot. Pray about it, ask yourself good questions, maintain a humble attitude, repent and make restitution where necessary. But afterward, seek your heavenly Father’s face. If you are at peace with Him, then perhaps you do not need to fix this thing. He can use even disrupted and uncomfortable relationships (e.g., Acts 15:39-41), and they will all be what they should be a mere 100 years from now.


Related Articles:

Broken Friendships – Les and Leslie Parrott
Steps for attempting restoration – InTouch Ministries