Have you heard there are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth? Today we see that one of the sides of stories of conflict is the devil’s, who would prefer we not seek peace. Not on my watch. Reconciliation is a core part of abundant life in Christ!
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
I had the wonderful opportunity this week to reconcile with a brother. As it turns out (which is usually the case) both of us left our first interaction with a sense of frustration and hurt. I had assumed at the time that it was only me feeling this way, and I had let it go pretty quick. I didn’t think it was worth bringing up again and I wasn’t holding anything against this other fellow.
Then the phone rang. He wanted to meet. It turns out that he felt similar to me, except he thought it was worth talking through. And of course, it was. Why?
Because the devil would desire nothing less than to prevent our reconciliation. The devil would much prefer that we have conflict and not seek peace. If Jesus followers are battling each other, then the forces of evil have won.
Jesus said that the world would know that we are his followers based on our love for each other (John 13:34-35). The thief who comes to kill and destroy would like to steal our love for each other in the Body of Christ. Not on my watch.
Have you heard that there are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth? Well, I think that’s close to reality, yet it’s not sufficient in reflecting the reality of our battle with the forces of evil. I would say in any situation your truth of what happened is true for you because it is your experience. My story is the truth of my experience. And then there is the devil, pandering his twisted story of deception and lies to get us focused on our rights and on revenge and the like.
The way to ensure we fulfill the abundant life which Jesus has for us in our relationships with each other is to not let the thief steal and to live at peace with each other – actively.
When we have a misunderstanding or moments of conflict, we come to each other to build bridges of reconciliation. We live out the shalom which Jesus purchased for us on the cross (Ephesians 2). The most difficult part of the process is getting face to face.
Reconciling was a breeze, because we both desired the same thing: peace and unity in the Body of Christ.
Be active in your pursuit of peace and reconciliation. It is a core part of the abundant and full life we are promised in Jesus Christ.