Relationships ALWAYS require work! This is true of marriage, friendships, family, co-workers, etc. Sometimes a situation occurs that tosses a grenade into the middle of a relationship leaving only pain & destruction remaining.
So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT)
Referencing Barclay on this passage, we cannot be made right with God until we are made right with the people in our lives. There really are no exceptions!
What do you do when reconciliation is NOT possible?
This is a question I’ve personally been wrestling with this week. Recently, I attended a leadership conference with my wife and 3 team members from our church. Now, the church we had served at prior to where we are at now endured a painful church split a few years ago. This was a result of the Senior Pastor resigning due to some integrity issues that caused there to be a complete lack of trust between he and the rest of the church leadership. I’ll spare you the ugly details. In over 20 years of church ministry, this was the first time I seriously doubted that I would ever serve in the church again. But God (how He does) had other plans for me.
Back to the conference.
My wife and I came to know that our former Pastor had relocated and is currently pastoring another church…..which just happened to be a 20-minute drive from our conference. Coincidence? I think not! God’s ways are not our ways, and I honestly think He gets a kick out of watching us react to His spiritual orchestrations from time to time. Don’t you? Well, to make a very complicated story short…we took action on the above verse. My wife and I (while basking in prayer) took time from the conference schedule and drove to his church, only to discover that he was not there. We were able to eventually make indirect contact with him via his wife…but he refused to meet with us to hear our apology and requested email communication. We emailed our short and honest apology, to which we received a 300-word reply that clearly indicated he had not dealt with any level of healing or repentance in his own life since then. Initially, the anger and resentment began to resurface inside me. But within moments God spoke to me, “Pray for him. He’s not benefited from the healthy church family that you have the last 2 years.” Boom! That’s what I call a God-smack.
I leave you with 3 spiritual truths:
1. We are not allowed to use the ‘what if’ factor as an excuse to not attempt reconciliation.
2. Our obedience, regardless of the outcome, will always lead to health.
3. Being at odds with another believer is never God’s best for us.
Do you need to forgive or apologize to someone in your life? Get prayed-up…take a breath…and move forward. God’s best life is just waiting around the corner for you!