Winning an Offended Brother

Proverbs 18:19 tells us,

A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.

When this verse refers to a "strong city," it means a fortified or a guarded city.  You cannot just waltz up to the gate of a fortified city and say "give up."  It takes strategic planning to take such a city.  You have to think things through and have a plan.

It also means there is going to be strenuous effort involved.  And, more than likely, you will be in a vulnerable position.  In fact, you don't take a strong city without taking risks, without becoming vulnerable.

The same things come into play when a brother is offended.  It takes thoughtful planning, it takes effort, and sometimes you have to become vulnerable when you do not want to be.

Perhaps you are struggling with a damaged relationship today, and you haven't pursued healing this relationship because you don't know how to do it.  It always starts with prayer.  You talk to God about them and about yourself, and then you need to go and talk to them.

When you do, I want you to listen carefully, it should not be with a view to prove that you are right.  Being right is not the goal.  Peace is.  Most of the time it is more important to be kind than it is to be right.

If you try to work something out, but only with the intention of having them understand your point of view so that you can prove you are right, you may win the argument, but you will never make peace.

So when you are endeavoring to win an offended brother, listen carefully to them, and endeavor to understand where they are coming from.  Seek to hear and not just be heard.  Though it may be difficult, you can win peace and see a broken relationship restored. 

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