PRINCIPLES FOR GOOD RELATIONSHIPS
At cfParis we are all about relationships. We believe that living by the eight principles below provides us biblical and practical ways to cultivate and keep relationships healthy and strong. We have discovered that friendships are not preserved by sincerity and love alone, but by keeping clearly defined agreements that individuals make with God and one another. When we walk together according to godly ethics, we find God’s favor and truly prove that real friends love at all times. (Proverbs 17:17)
1. The Forgiveness Principle
I will choose to walk in forgiveness and not easily take offense against me.
Scripture: Acts 24:16 - “I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”
Question: Can you just forgive and move on? Are you a forgiving person? Are you committed to choose forgiveness first?
2. The First Word Principle
You will be the first person to hear about any problem I have with you.
Scripture: Matthew 18:15 - “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend.”
Question: Have you spoken to anyone else about this offense? Will you commit to go first to the person who has hurt or offended you?
3. The Faithfulness Principle
Faithfulness to our relationship outweighs the importance of any offense between us. I will not allow any problem to override the principles by which we live.
Scripture: Proverbs 27:6 – “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
Question: Is this problem or your concern a threat to our relationship? Will you value the relationship above the non-essentials in order to walk together in unity?
4. The Friendship Principle
It is my responsibility to approach you if I need your help.
I will not expect you to interpret my actions or
recognize my heart’s condition.
Scripture: Proverbs 18:24 - “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.”
Question: Are you offended that I did not recognize you were troubled? Are you willing to assume the responsibility of letting others know if or when you need help?
5. The Four-Day Principle
I will not allow any problem I have with you to go unresolved
for more than four days.
Scripture: Proverbs 28:13 - “You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it; you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.”
Question: How long have you been troubled about this problem? Are you willing to confront in a gentle and peaceable way before the end of four days?
6. The Final Word Principle
I will believe and act upon the last words we spoke
concerning our relationship.
Scripture: Philippians 4:8 - “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on ...the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”
Question: Did you forget or disregard what we last spoke to one another concerning our relationship? Are you willing to believe what was last spoken to you?
7. The Flexibility Principle
I will search out options with you in making possible adjustments
in how we relate to one another.
Scripture: Isaiah 1:18 - “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord...” Malachi 3:16 - "Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name."
Question: Are there adjustments in our relationship that need to be made because of changes in our personal lives or circumstances? Are you a flexible person?
8. The Frustration Principle
When all efforts to apply these principles have failed to the point of frustration, we will commit ourselves to appeal to a person with higher authority for the sake of the relationship.
Scripture: Hebrews 13:17 – “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”
Question: Have you followed through with all the other principles? Do you have a leader or a person higher authority in your life you can appeal to if needed? Are you committed to make such an appeal?