Rick Warren: How can Christians restore broken relationships?

(PHOTO: Pixabay)

Everybody gets into fights at one point or another in their lives. It's inevitable for friends, family and even strangers to get into a disagreements with one another, and sometimes, the disagreements get so bad that relationships appear broken beyond repair.

While reflecting on the best way to restore broken relationships, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church realized that the "first biblical step" in doing so is to talk to God.

"Discuss the problem with God. If you'll pray about the conflict first instead of gossiping to a friend, you'll often discover that either God changes your heart or he changes the other person without your help," he wrote on his website.

In fact, Warren said that all relationships in one's life would go more smoothly if only they pray about them to God. If there are any frustrations in relationships, the pastor suggested that believers tell God about it. God is never upset whenever people share their anger, hurt or insecurities, so they must always tell Him exactly how they feel.

"Most conflict is rooted in unmet needs, and some of these needs can only be met by God. When you expect anyone — a friend, spouse, pastor, or family member — to meet a need that only God can fulfill, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and bitterness. There are many needs that only God can meet," he explained.

After talking to God, Warren suggested that Christians take the first step in making amends - whether they are the offender or they are the ones who were offended. God expects His children to make the first move in bridging gaps, and they should offer no excuses in delaying it.

"When fellowship is strained or broken, plan a 'peace conference' immediately," he said. "Don't procrastinate, make excuses, or promise, 'I'll get around to it someday.' Schedule a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible. Delay only deepens resentment and makes matters worse."

There is a saying that time heals all wounds. But when it comes to conflict, Warren said time heals nothing and "it only causes hurts to fester."