We emphasized the importance of relationships in our last visit, basing our thoughts on 1st Timothy 5:1-2. The servant of God can’t afford to have unhealthy relationships, but what do you do if some relationships just don’t move from unhealthy or strained toward healthy?
Paul dealt with this in Romans 12:18, where he writes: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” The clear implication is that it is not always possible to live at peace with everyone.
When you find yourself in this kind of impasse, ask yourself, am I doing what I can do to help in this situation? That’s all God asks of you. Do what you can to promote peace in relationships. That might mean, backing off. Be gracious when confrontation can’t be avoided, but don’t try forcing the issue.
Remember how Jonathan did this in his relationship with his father Saul when he knew he had to support God’s anointed call on David’s life to be the next king of Israel. To do more than this might compound the difficulty. I believe this is what happened between Paul and Barnabas. It appears it took some time for them to be at peace, but not as fellow team members any more.
It is difficult to discern when such an impasse is experienced. Often we give up on relationships too soon. Confrontation is difficult. I believe initial attempts should be made, but prayerful evaluation as you pursue the process is important, because not all relationships will become healthy.
Our prayer, however, should continue to be, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).