Monday, 17 October 2011

Peace and Reconcilliation

I am certain that we have all come across situations in our families, churches, friend groups and colleagues that we could easily term hostile. I have experienced all of these at various times and at times have wondered how to handle them sometimes wanting to respond in anger or self-righteous indignation.

Rom 5:1 tells us that those who have accepted Christ as their Saviour have peace with God - our rebellion not only ended but paid for, by Christ. But how can we apply this to our own lives as we react, provoke or are the victim of other peoples' angst and hostility?

Well God's example is to provide the means for us to be reconciled through Christ's death and resurrection, quite a price, quite an example ... For us perhaps the action we can take is to reflect before acting, consider our anger or hurt and how we might overcome it by taking it to Christ in prayer and asking his help in moving on from it.

From a position where the emotional first response has been diffused, we might better figure out how to reconcile without judgment or needing to feel superior. In my family this has helped me restore some relationships between myself and siblings, in churches it has helped me bring correction without judgment or healing without condemnation and in the workplace has helped me understand better and so be able to work with those who I would otherwise have found it impossible.

Paul sums up his thinking on this in Rom 5:3-5 - trials produce perseverance, perseverance produces experience or character and character produces hope - full circle! Our hope of salvation causes us to behave differently to how we might have if we had not known Christ and the rest follows.

Seek to reconcile and not cause more problems, seek to forgive and not hold grudges, seek to restore relationship and not break it apart. Its a hard path, but then there is nothing easy about walking the path of the disciple.

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