Being close to people is tricky because friction is inevitable. People rub against each other because they are different or sinful. Yet managing relational friction well leads to deep and satisfying relationships. Ephesians gives great teaching on this.
…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. Ephesians 4:15
When we speak the truth in love we grow both ourselves and others into the image of Christ. But what do we do with the anger that truth can bring?
25… let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:25-27
We are allowed to be angry, but our anger must not act out sinfully or be sustained. When we persist in our anger Satan acts.
“When you and another person suffer a relational breakdown and you don’t address it immediately, it’s like you stick them on a spit. You turn them over and over and over until the heat of your anger begins to burn. You continue to think of new reasons why he or she is such a terrible person, and before you know it, you grill that person into an unrecognisable version of who they once were. At this point, reconciliation is the furthest thing from your mind. Homicide, yes. Humbly forgiving them, no.”
Bill Hybels, Axioms
Christmas is coming, let us fix relationships by telling the truth in love and forgiving.