By Allen White
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 are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
God’s will for you and for me is reconciliation. God wants us to be reconciled to Him. He wants us to be reconciled to each other. Ultimately, God wants all of creation to be reconciled and restored (Romans 8:22-23).
God’s heart is not toward judgment, although that is a tool to move us toward reconciliation. As long as we have breath in our bodies, God doesn’t give up on anybody.
Reconciliation is not just God’s work, however. He has given believers the “ministry of reconciliation.” So, let me ask you this: how’s your ministry going? How much reconciliation are you seeing these days?
The key to reconciliation is found in God’s actions: “not counting men’s sins against them.” Don’t get me wrong. Sin is costly. Our sin cost Jesus His life. So, here’s the tension – you can’t count someone’s sins against them and be reconciled to them. Remember, “love keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
When we are upset with someone, what do we think about? We usually go to every bad thing that they’ve ever done. Sometimes we think that they’ve messed up so many times that maybe they can’t do anything right. But, let’s be realistic, the only “person” who has never done anything good and only does evil all of the time is the devil. (Now you might be thinking – “Yes, and that’s who I’m dealing with.” No, you’re not.)
As a step toward reconciliation, we need to force ourselves to go to a place where our minds don’t typically go when we’re upset: what has this person done right? What is good about them? What do we love about them? Come on, even a broken clock is right twice a day. There’s got to be something. Start here: they’ve never killed a guy (that we know of)…
Deal with the matter at hand. Don’t blow the dust off of two days or 20 years worth of woes. Start with the latest one, and then go from there.
God values reconciliation above being right. If we want our lives to please God, then we need to become ambassadors of His peace through reconciliation with others.
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