If you are anything like me, then you want the one who wronged you to initiate reconciliation with you. I may have very well forgiven whomever wronged me, but whoever wronged me must lead the resolution process, must come to me to make amends.
But Christ has always been the initiator.
How contrary this is to our carnal nature. That our Lord, whom we have continually wronged, would pursue us to be reconciled to God. It is as if I have wronged you over and over and often in the same way, and every time you have chased me down to reconcile me. And even while you were pursing me for reconciliation, I was still offending you.
And it makes me emotional because our Lord’s love for us is nonsensical.
It was not that we did one offensive act; we were perpetually offensive. And He still came after me. And He still came after you. Christ came after us while we were in the wrong. Besides understanding the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, I want us to be this love of God to others.
The goal is not to be right when somebody offends you; the goal is to be reconciled. Because God was absolutely right in not pursuing us, but God cared more about reconciling us than demonstrating He is right. May we be like this in conflict. When somebody hurts us, may we chase down whomever has hurt us to reconcile that relationship. It is illogical; it is humbling; it is painful because you were the one hurt, but it is refreshing; it is life-giving; it is pleasing to our Lord.
And it is what our Lord did for me. And it is what our Lord did for you. And our Lord will give us strength to do it.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV) (emphasis added).
“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.” (Matthew 5:23 NIV).
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8,9 NIV).
Oh baby. My first gingerbread latte of the season.
Much love to you,