Had a great community group tonight. We discussed Rom 12:18 in the context of family relationships. Every family has some level of dysfunction in it. There are no perfect people, no perfect families. The bottom line of our conversation and the DVD we watched is that within our imperfect families it's always worth fighting for relationship. Even when it will turn out to be a losing fight is still WORTH the fight! Too many family members give up and stop fighting, they quit pursuing relationship and before they know it it's multiple years without communicating and something inside of them feels dead.
I know there are some relationships where physical or psychological abuse is taking place and those relationships just need to stop. But when personality differences, annoying idiosyncrasies, or pride cause friction you've got to stay in the ring. Even if you're the only one fighting, even though who you're fighting for has no interest in reciprocating any kind of relationship... it's worth the fight.
A great application tonight was writing a letter to a parent or child with one goal in that letter: To share all the good memories with that person. Even in all the mess, there is usually something redeemable. There may be tons of dirt between you but it's worth digging through all that to find the gold of great memories. And gold always shines a little brighter when shared with another.
What are you waiting for? Go write that letter.