How God Heals Us: Relationally

by Joanna Pierce on December 14, 2017

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16, KJV).

The Basis of Relationships

God created mankind for relationships. The basis is rooted in His Word—man was made to fellowship with God (Genesis 2:7). There are references throughout the Bible about our types of relationships with God: sons, heirs, friends, etc.

Bad Relationships

Bad relationships are another result of the fall of man; this was not in the perfect plan and will of God. We learn how to relate to others from what has been modeled to us; therefore, relationships in our lives will be applied and amplified throughout generations. What mankind doesn’t influence or attribute to poor relationships, the enemy does and preys upon. One of Satan’s primary strategies is to attack God’s people through relationships.

God brought Israel out of the land of Egypt into the wilderness to teach them about relationships and serving Him. They weren’t born with an understanding of God, or His righteousness. As we aren’t born into the world with a desire to seek God and act upon it in our lives, we have to learn the importance of relationships and how to love people.

Good Relationships

Because relationships are such a vital portion of our daily lives, we need to seek relational healing. We must make an intentional effort to restore and maintain relationships in our lives God’s way. The only way to experience relational healing is to determine what a healthy relationship should be. Scripture tells us healthy relationships will edify not only us, but others and God (Hebrews 10:24). Good relationships will promote love and good works for the Kingdom of God.

James told the church many truths about relationships: 1) saved people still have faults, 2) faults cause damage to relationships, 3) we need to be healed from the damage, and 4) healing comes from prayer and communication.

Confessing Faults

Faults are transgressions we commit to or against another person. Scripture is clear that we have a responsibility to restore the faults and damages in our relationships. We must be careful that we aren’t overtaken in faults and develop offenses (Galatians 6:1). An offense in the flesh can cause a spiritual sickness. We need to reconcile ourselves to those we’ve hurt (Matthew 5:23–24), or go and tell people they’ve hurt us with the aim to reconcile (Matthew 18:15–16).

Showing Compassion

We must have a deep desire to do for others what they cannot do for themselves. Jesus showed this multiple times in Scripture; He tried to understand where people were coming from and the motives behind their action. We’re all human and are going to mess up and it’s important to remember this when seeking to restore relationships.

Promote Discipline

We need to have discipline in our relationships. We cannot have unhealthy habits and boundaries in our relationships. Failing to have any discipline will result in unnecessary hardship. We need “set rules” to follow so we can have peace in our relationships (Hebrews 12:11–13).

Love One Another

God is love and His love is different from any other kind of love. His love (agape) is unsearchable; it’s the love that caused Him to robe Himself in flesh and be crucified on a cross so that we might be free from death and sin. We must extend this love in our relationships; this is how others will know we are His disciples (John 13:35).

Forgive Others

Jesus taught the disciples the importance of forgiveness; we must forgive others to be forgiven (Matthew 6:12). We need to understand that the grace God extends to us must be extended through us to others. God’s grace (forgiveness) is the most valuable gift we can give to others (Colossians 3:13); we must forgive an unlimited number of times (Matthew 18:21–22). If we don’t forgive, it can lead to bitterness in our lives and relationships (Hebrews 12:14).

God Helps Hurt Relationships

A beautiful story about relational healing is found in Genesis 32–33. This is the reconciliation story of Jacob and Esau—2 brothers parted in hatred and reunited in love and forgiveness. If we seek the Lord, and ask Him to heal our relationships, we will see Him work in a mighty way.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on December 13, 2017 with Pastor Nave