“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”
James 4:1-2 NKJV
The first biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to talk to God before talking to the person. If you'll pray about the conflict first, instead of gossiping to a friend, you'll often discover that either God changes your heart or he changes the other person without your help. All your relationships would go smoother if you would just pray more about them. As David did with his Psalms, use prayer to ventilate vertically. Tell God your frustrations. Cry out to him. He's never surprised or upset by your anger, hurt, insecurity, or any other emotions. So tell him exactly how you feel. Most conflict is rooted in unmet needs and many of these needs can only be met by God. When you expect anyone - a friend, spouse, another pastor, or family member - to meet a need that only God can fulfill, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and bitterness. No one can meet all of your needs except God. The apostle James noted that many of our conflicts are caused by prayerlessness: "What causes fights and quarrels among you? You want something but don't get it. You do not have, because you do not ask God." (James 4:1-2 NIV) Instead of looking to God, we look to others to make us happy and then get angry when they fail us. God says, "Why don't you come to me first?"