We are firm believers that we are made for relationship – with each other and with God.

Good relationships can be awesome; loving, supportive and full of good laughs. But we all know not every relationship goes that way and as much as relationships can bring us happiness, they can also be the most painful things ever when they go wrong.

This week we looked at the concept of ‘sin’ in relationships. A lot of people don’t like the word ‘sin’ because it seems to be about rules – that’s because people often think of sin as things we shouldn’t do. But how does that connect to our relationships? Let’s go through this like we did in our session….

To start with we looked at Rick Warren’s really good explanation of what ‘sin’ really is – check out the first couple minutes of this video. He makes the point that the word ‘sin’ is actually an archery term meaning to miss the bullseye, or to fall short of a target. If God’s perfect plan for us is the standard, or the bullseye, then everything we do that falls short of that is ‘sin’ – what we do, how we think, what our priorities are – everything! And that ‘sin’ separates us from God, our creator.

When it comes to relationships, we are created to thrive when we experience love, belonging and acceptance – that’s God’s best for us (not so bad, huh?) So when relationships are antagonistic, hurtful, or abusive it follows that is not God’s best. Not only are we ‘sinning’ when we treat people like this, but we are being ‘sinned against’ when others treat us that way.

We all have been in relationships – with family, friends, partners – that have hurt us. Badly. We can carry deep wounds around with us for years; they shape our identities, our sensitivities and can block us from having healthy relationships in the future. We can even pass it on to others because it has shaped our outlook, habits and character traits.

We don’t have to live with the impact of others’ relational sin towards us  – we can break free with the power of Jesus. Jimmy Evans gives some great advice about this in this video (apologies for the cheesiness at the end, but it’s a good message up til that point!) – he says, we need to:

  1. Name it as ‘sin’ – call it what it is
  2. Take responsibility for your own ‘sin’, and repent  of it
  3. Forgive; “It’s the mother of all issue related to being free from your past.”
  4. Submit that area to Jesus
  5. Break it off of your life in the name of Jesus

And so our pick is “Just Stop” by Disturbed.

This awesome track shows how people’s attitudes and behaviours towards us can have a massively negative impact, but in the song there is also hope:

“Step back a moment, and look at the miracle starting in our life
Don’t stop the moment, and let the incredible happen…”

When we invite Jesus into our lives and our relationships, a miracle happens – He has the power not only to help us, but to transform us out of the damage and pain that’s been pushed in our direction from bad relationships. Sometimes we can be so wrapped up in the problem, we don’t see the promise.

If you’re struggling with the impact of damaging relationships – we are right with you in spirit. We are all praying that we will recognise these things in our own lives and bring them to Jesus – to name things as the ‘sin’ they are; to ask for forgiveness, and for His strength to help us forgive others so we can a life free from our hurtful pasts by His amazing love and power.

jesus breaks chains