“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.”- 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV)
Reconciliation is difficult. When we have broken relationships with individuals or groups it is hard for us to swallow our pride and go to them with a heart of humility. We should go with the purpose of restoring the relationship, maybe not becoming friends again, but creating a balance of respect and peace.
The trick is coming with humility. We have to humble ourselves in the process because it allows us to be open to the idea that we may have been wrong, but also opens the door for us to be willing to apologize. A humble heart is the easiest to work with, especially when it comes to forgiving and/or reconciling with others.
Reconciling with individuals you have “bad blood” with (thanks Taylor Swift) is the common understanding of the word, but what if followers of Christ should have a deeper understanding of reconciliation?
When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19) he was focused on the restoration of the world through the work of Christ on the cross and the resurrection. He wanted the people who claimed Christ as their Lord and Savior to know they had a role in reconciling the world to their Creator as well.
After mentioning “the ministry of reconciliation”, he shared in verse 20, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.”
Christ has given us a responsibility to share His message of love, hope, peace, and restoration to the world. We cannot ignore the call in our everyday actions.
That means, when we post things on social media which demeans another or causes people to think negatively in regards to others, we are hindering the message of reconciliation.
Reconciliation is not limited to our own broken relationships. It’s not that restoring those relationships isn’t important, but we cannot think that is enough.
The world is looking for people who claim Christ to truly live by what He teaches. We have a responsibility to reveal a message of peace and love.
We should speak out on injustices and brokenness. We should rise up in love for those who are marginalized and treated unfairly. We should speak out against corruption and evil that is ruining our culture.
However, all this should be done in a way that shines light in peace and love, not in anger and hurtful words, which ultimately aids in creating darkness in an already dark world.
We bring reconciliation by shutting down hurtful words towards others. We don’t join in demonizing another person because of different thoughts than us. We don’t allow ourselves to take sides when it is based on differing views, unless it is clearly against the word of God. We act in such a way that people can see we live as Christ lived.
Christ challenged the culture and the only place He caused a scene in the process was within the temple. Think about that! He looked at the self-righteous, the people who were claiming to be in relationship with the Lord, yet manipulating and oppressing people for their gain and flipped their tables. He pointed out their wrongdoings and called them harsh names. He didn’t point at the sinful world and say, “You brood of Vipers!” He saved such accusations for the leaders of the religious groups. Isn’t that interesting?
Our scenes should be made for righteous reasons according to Scripture, not our opinions. Our hard language should be held for change that needs to occur in the body of Christ.
I have said this before, but it is worth repeating, perhaps when the world sees the Church reconciling with itself, maybe they would be interested in the message we carry?
May our words and actions reveal the message of reconciliation. May our posts be a way the world sees something different and not what the world is used to or expecting. May we carry the message as true ambassadors of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peace and Blessings friends.
QUESTION: How do you spread the message of reconciliation in your everyday life?