Updated: Jan 3
Scripture tells us that we need to try to reconcile with our brothers and sisters even when we don't want to.
(2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ESV) '18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.'
Did scripture just say that God reconciled us (mankind) to Himself through Christ Jesus? Of course HE did; that is what (John 3:16-17) is all about. He also gave us this message of reconciliation so we can teach others about how to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. One last thing, He also told us how to be reconciled to our brothers and sisters here on Earth, and this is the primary topic for this devotional. (Matthew 5:23-24 ESV) '23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.' Now it is one thing to be reconciled to God, who is perfect in all His ways, but you don't know my brother/sister (insert name). Let's just say I can't enter into any type of relationship with him/her again (maybe this is just what I am thinking).
If your brother or sister is trying to make things right with you concerning a wrong that was done, who are you to stop them from doing this? If Jesus is supposed to be our example and He has given us this ministry of reconciliation, who are we to say NO to forgiving someone their trespasses toward us? Scripture makes it very plain concerning forgiveness in (Matthew 6:15 ESV) 'but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.' Forgiveness must be given by a Christian whether we want to or not, but reconciliation is different. To be reconciled is to bring two (2) people back into a relationship again. The definition of reconciliation is: to restore friendship or harmony, to settle, and resolve. With some people, this is difficult to do, depending on what they have done.
This is how we are supposed to handle issues between brothers and sisters as Christians. (Matthew 18:15-17 ESV) '15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.' Some people skip over this portion of the gospel because it is easier to hold a grudge against your brother or sister rather than go after the restoration of the relationship.
Let's break the scripture down. Did you notice scripture said to the person who was wronged that they are to go and do the work necessary to start the process of reconciliation? That's right, the person that was hurt is to initiate the process by going to the person who has wronged them. When we look at this, we have to notice that God is up to something here. Why is He making the hurt party start the process? The hurt party is to initiate the process so that they don't sit there and stew in their unforgiveness and let bitterness take place within themselves concerning the person who has done them wrong. When you have to go after someone to reconcile, the onus is now on you to help restore the relationship. Only God would do something like this (lol).
Now there is a choice that must be made, will I do what God told me to do, or will I do nothing at all? As Christians, we should be striving to be obedient to God and His Word. If we do what the Word of God is asking us to do and our brother or sister refuses to make things right regarding the process, only then can we no longer have anything to do with them. This would mean as Christians, we have not rejected reconciling with them; they have rejected reconciling with us.
Reconciliation can be difficult, especially when you feel like you truly distrust the person you are reconciling with. Understand this first and foremost; you do not have to reconcile a relationship to the status it once was, especially if a covenant or trust was broken. Second, you only need to reconcile a relationship to the point where you do not have angst, anger, or resentment toward the person you are reconciling with. Truthfully, this is for your benefit. You don't want to give people more time in your mind than they deserve. Holding on to angst, anger, and resentment will give them way more time in your headspace than they are probably worth.
Challenge yourself to pray and read God's Word on a daily basis. As you understand more, start acting out on what it says. Then you will truly see the blessing of the Word of God in your life.
Ask your Heavenly Father to help you to understand His Word and give you the wisdom and understanding needed to act upon it.
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Take Care Family,
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