All of us have been in this place, aware of having offended another in thought, word, or deed. Typically, the damage is done, and we simply move on, leaving the relationship behind. How much better—and more difficult—to work to repair the relationship!
Sometimes our motives for wanting to repair a relationship are selfish. We do it because we want to feel better. But restoring a relationship is harder than a simple apology, because the damage we’ve caused goes beyond our own selfish needs. Restoration involves painstaking work to reclaim the original beauty we have spoiled. In the work of restoration, we never regain exactly what we had before. Instead, we repair, mend, and rebuild. Sometimes we add new parts to help the relationship function again, much the way we restore a beloved piece of furniture after years of neglect. It will never be new, but it can have more character and be stronger and more resilient. The table leg may be askew, but the top is level and will again bear some weight. So it is when we restore relationships with others; we can again bear with one another (Col. 3:13).
Prayer: Sustaining God, restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. Amen.
Jennifer Copeland Durham, NC