November 17, 2005


Earlier this week I wrote about moving past anger. Here is an important reason why we should:

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV)--All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

We can not be part of a message of reconciliation if we are unwilling to do that in our own lives. It's hard folks, I know. The message Jesus brought to this earth is not an easy one to follow. Our sinful natures push back against it all the time. When we are angry with someone, we want revenge, we want an apology, we want a concession that we were right and the other person was wrong.

That is not a part of Jesus message to us. We are charged with seeking reconciliation in this world, not just to people who are nice to us or those who have hurt us and apologized. We need to take the lead in forgiveness, extend our hand, and open our heart to that individual.

Sometimes we suck it up and do this and don't receive the type of response we feel is deserved, then go away madder than ever. Jesus showed us by his very life that we should follow God's commands without expecting earthly reward. After all, how was he rewarded by man for the healing and miracles he performed in his time on earth?

Over the last few months, I reached out to two friends who I had issues with that caused us to stop communicating with each other. One of them, a very close friend from high school, reciprocated and healing has taken place without either one extracting a pound of flesh from the other. The other friend, who I knew through my late wife, initially responded well to my oveture but then drifted away again. After a couple of additional attempts to reestablish contact, I resigned myself to the fact that he was not ready to reestablish our friendship. I was saddened, but at peace because I had done what my heart had led me to do.

In both situations, I sought the will of the Holy Spirit and felt led to make the move toward healing. I'm glad I did with both people despite success with only one. A complete reconciliation with someone takes the willing and active participation of BOTH people. We can only do our part, but that's better than waiting on the other person.

As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians, God has committed us to a message of reconciliation. If we are seeking his will in our lives, we need to seek it in every area.

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