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The differences between every individual can be an incredible catalyst for character growth. More often than not, however, we avoid those who have different personalities and interests because they make us uncomfortable. This week, John Bailey and Mark Renfroe discuss how we can make sure we grow and mature through challenging relationships with other people, whether it’s with family, in work or through church. This sounds easy until we’ve experienced real betrayal and pain at the hands of others. How do we forgive and rebuild relationships under less than ideal circumstances?
Key Points from the Podcast
No one enjoys a contentious relationship with a coworker, classmate or follow church-goer. However, we should see these people as an invitation to grow in our graciousness and patience.
How do we determine if a relationship is worth attempting to rebuild if it’s fallen apart as result of infidelity, lies or personal attacks?
Forgiveness and trust do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. We can forgive someone that we rightfully don’t trust anymore. Forgiveness is a gift; trust is earned.
What does it look like to keep fellow believers accountable and yet also be gracious or merciful with our brothers and sisters in Christ?
A restoration process is exactly that: a process. It involves steps of accountability, healing, observable growth and consequences for backsliding. This takes time and will require patience.
A person who has done wrong should not be villainized. We are all sinful and capable of great evil outside of the mercy of God. Christ’s redemption can completely revive and transform a person’s heart. We must remember that when we’re dealing with those who are unsaved or backslidden.
Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast
Matthew 18:15-17, Matthew 7:3-5, 1 Corinthians 13:7
About John Bailey
Pastor John Bailey serves as the Chief Operating Officer at World Challenge. John came to know Christ in jail after some difficult struggles as a young man, and God has done a powerful work of transformation since! Spending 13 years in Next Gen ministry, he excelled in discipleship and helping young leaders discover giftings to serve God. John was called next to serve as a missionary and pastor in Western Europe. John and his family then returned to plant the Springs Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Today, the church is a thriving body of believers excelling in outreach and missions. John has now brought his giftings and vision to World Challenge, accelerating the spread of the gospel in America and around the World.
About Mark Renfroe
Mark married his college sweetheart, Amy, with whom he has four adult children—one girl and three boys. The Renfroes have been involved in field missions work for 30 years. They served in the Arab community of San Francisco for four years before becoming foreign missionaries in 1995. Mark was asked to serve as the Area Director for Assemblies of God World Missions in 2007. As part of his role, he led missionaries and interfaced with national church leaders in the 18 countries of the Arab World. In 2017, Mark created Reaching Africa’s Muslims, an initiative to mobilize, equip, and deploy indigenous African missionaries to reach Muslims on the continent. Mark has graduate degrees in Intercultural Studies and Executive Leadership. He currently serves as the Chief Missions Officer for World Challenge in Colorado Springs.