Together in Christ: 'Broken Relationships Are Strong in the Wrong places' — Proverbs 18:19

Monday, May 29, 2023

A broken friendship is harder to deal with than a city that has high walls around it. And arguing is like the locked gates of a mighty city.

— Proverbs 18:19 NLT

Key Thought

Wounding or betraying a friend can break someone precious to God, leading them to erect barriers with high and strong walls between them and us. Friends wounded in this way will seldom risk their hearts with us again. Similarly, pursuing an argument just to win can often mean losing a friendship and locking us out of our former friend's heart.

While there are times when we must say difficult things to a friend or confront a close brother or sister in Christ about their sin, there is a loving way to do this. [1] Our goal is not to prove ourselves right but help the other person who is our friend to find their way home to God and us. [2] Saving a friend in Christ from sin is an incredibly holy action that too few people are willing to do. However, it should not be confused with unfair criticism or senseless arguments [3] that are often more about trying to prove our superiority than they are about saying and doing what is in the eternal best interest of another! [4]

Our words of "carefrontation" must be prayerfully chosen and spoken with gentleness and respect. [5] Our goal is not to win a verbal battle but to secure the heart of someone we love for their sake and to help us grow in our walk together with the Lord.

[1] Galatians 6:1-2; James 5:19-20.
[2] Matthew 18:10-17; Luke 15:1-7.
[3] 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9.
[4] Philippians 2:1-4; Colossians 4:2-6.
[5] Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 4:2; 1 Peter 3:15-16.

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, I honor you as righteous, gracious, and faithful. I long to be holy, compassionate, and loyal in my relationships so I can be a blessing to others as a friend. Please mold my heart and give me the wisdom to discern what is most needed in my relationships with my friends in Christ and those who need to find their hope in Him. I want to be a blessing and support, yet I also want to be caring enough to "carefront" a brother or sister who has wandered away from You and the right path for living. Jesus, help me be like You as I seek to treat others with gentleness and respect. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 18:10-35
  • James 5:19-20; 1 Peter 3:13-17


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Illustration of Proverbs 18:19 NLT — A broken friendship is harder to deal with than a city that has high walls around it. And arguing is like the locked gates of a mighty city.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.