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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Shattered relationships

Pastor Kristi Rhodes

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

I am so happy to be able to write on this topic of reconciliation today. Way too often, the death of a parent unfortunately results in great strain on family relationships. The hope is that the loss of a loved one would draw family members together to help each other mourn in a healthy way, bringing comfort to each other and encouragement through the most difficult times. I am in awe of those families that grow stronger through this most difficult time. Those that realize life is too short to live angry and choose reconciliation are able to find peace.

Unfortunately, my family was ripped apart when my mother passed on. Soon it will be 10 years ago. It took more than 7 years of silence before the process of reconciliation began to even seem possible. I never stopped praying for that miracle and believed that one day it would happen. 

I know the scriptures tell us to seek reconciliation and peace as far as it depends on us or to do everything we can on our end to bring reconciliation or peace. Be persistent in your prayers! Don’t give up, no matter what it looks like. Trust God with the outcome as you lift your shattered relationship up to the Lord. Not all broken relationships are a result of a death in the family. Most are actually the result of miscommunication or misunderstandings. And not all broken relationships can or should be reconciled but we must do our part and trust God with the outcome. 

Unforgiveness robs us of joy and holds us hostage. Jesus said, “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” Matthew 6:15 NLT. And Paul said, “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you”Ephesians 4:32 NLT. 

Forgiveness is a gift from God who gives us the power to forgive even the worst offenses. Paul said, “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NLT.  

I just had lunch with my sister that God restored to me, and we talked for hours! What a tremendous gift of reconciliation. We are now closer than ever, convinced and determined to always give the benefit of the doubt and talk it out. We were both so miserable for so many wasted years! Please, don’t waste the years God has blessed you with! Life is way too short.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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