I like to think I notice when the Holy Spirit wants my attention, but often, I need to be told more than once when God is asking something of me. This week, two dear friends, brothers in Christ, brought up the same topic – three days apart, but seated in the same chair (okay, the chair has more to do with the seating at the Coffee Company than with the Holy Spirit).
The first conversation was hard: I had to confront a friend who had deeply wronged me. Until the moment I said the words, I hoped there was a way to avoid the entire conversation. It was as painful as I’d been afraid it would be, particularly because there is no way for my friend to undo the harm he’s done: For business reasons, I needed him to be aware and take responsibility for his actions. He was the one who said we needed to be reconciled to each other and before the Lord; I hadn’t gotten past my anger enough to think about that. In the moment, reconciliation wasn’t a priority for me, but I agreed to work toward it
It wasn’t until three days later, when my second friend brought up reconciliation as a point of theology, that I recognized the error I’d made. I had told my first friend how he’d hurt me, and then waited for him to apologize. He offered reconciliation, while I clung to my anger. But God calls on us to be reconciled, and that requires movement from both parties. It’s not accomplished by one standing motionless, waiting on the other to change. Both hearts must open and soften. Both must move toward each other, asking God to lead them to forgiveness and peace.
When we truly love the Lord, we can’t let the distances in our broken relationships remain – or worse, grow – as we stand still, waiting for what we think is right. Let us eagerly seek out reconciliation. Let us reach out to each other in love and close those distances, so we may walk hand in hand, with each other and with our Savior, in harmony once more.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”