reconcile

Posted: February 16th, 2010 | Filed under: life | 11 Comments »

the plot:

Their feet pound as they make their way across the terrain. They are the chosen. They’re His children.

Long journeys make them bored and tired. They get on each other’s nerves. Their stumbles bruise and scrape the people closest to them. It’s tempting to separate yourself from the failures of others.

They’ve been promised something better, but the promise fades when the journey drones.

They bring souvenirs. They take travel advice from the locals. They find ways to make their journey easier, only to find that it makes it harder.

Empty backpacks, abandoned egos and a transient disposition is required, but surely there is something for the ‘self.’ When reward doesn’t come for their hard work or justice for their wounds, they rely on their own interpretation and bring their own repayment.

the conflict:

The ‘hard to come by‘ becomes the goal and soon it’s dog eat dog. Survival of the fittest is a blood bath. Fend for yourself and leave the weak behind.

Their feet pound as they make their way across the terrain. Spread apart and split off. Little ants scattering to find shade from the desert sun. Hunters lost in the woods. Spiraling in circles while a predator watches them, waiting for them to get tired.

If they could have stuck together, they could have fought off the attack. But they didn’t. They’re being drug off, one by one. They’re used against each other. Their desires and what they feel they deserve become the weapons.

Wedges are forged in the lives the chosen. Rivers rage a separation between sickness and healing. They’re designed to be united, but when they’re too far apart to hold each others hands, their sickness lingers.

They have one Source of Blood and the blood ties them together. You can’t get rid of your family because every time you sit down to eat, you have to sit with ‘them’ because when He ‘raised us up with him’ and He ‘seated us with Him.’ (Eph2:6)

They’ve made each other enemies and it takes two to build a bridge over the raging river between them.

The predator seduces and makes you remember the sin. ‘Don’t walk with them, they did you wrong. Don’t trust them, they’ll hurt you again. Don’t forget the sin.’

The predator seduces and makes you feel justified. ‘You’re a good person, it doesn’t have to make sense. You need this. You deserve this.’

The predator tells you whatever you need to hear, whatever you’ll listen to, to separate you from the group. ‘You’re the only one who ‘gets it.’ The others are dragging you down. Dust your feet off and go off on your own. Forge your own path. Be the hero.’

If you are isolated, then you are weak. If you’re afraid, then you’re in the dark. If you have to focus on the sin, then you’re using your pain to feed your actions.

the climax:

If one member suffers, all suffer together…-1 Corinthians 12:26

When you fall down, you have to see it for what it is. You’ve been seduced by the enemy and your weaknesses were used to trip you. Get back up, do your best to fix the mess and keep walking.

If you’ve been hit by a Christian in a tailspin, you have to see it for what it is. You’re walking a rough terrain and tripping is inevitable. I know it hurts, but they’re your family. Help them to their feet and help them pick up the pieces. The sooner the two of you can walk again, the better. You’re connected, so if they’re left behind, so are you. If you try to move forward you’ll find that you can’t because a piece of you is within them.

You have one option when dealing with others. The one option is segmented in two. You either see others as though you’re seeing yourself or you’re seeing others as though they were Jesus. It’s tangled and inseparable. You’re incapable of separating yourself from yourself, so when you refuse to walk with a fellow believer, you’re refusing Jesus.

[Jesus] said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” -Luke 10:27

“He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone …that was me—you failed to do it to me.’ -Matthew 25:45

Empty backpacks, abandoned egos and a transient disposition is required. Everyone is either you or Jesus. If you love Him, you’ll love all of them. If you want to walk with Him, you have to walk with the ‘them.’

Are you trying to figure out the godly thing to do with a person? Are you struggling with keeping yourself safe and giving up your right to self? It’s likely that the person you’re holding the furthest from you is the very antibody for what is causing your pain.

The prescription has and will always be Love. Do your part and help build the bridge.

the impressions:

  • Do you think it’s important to set aside differences for the sake of the bigger picture?
  • What is the bigger picture?
  • When you’re sitting at home in your pajamas and you’re not trying to impress anybody, what is that one thing/person/circumstance that is ‘undone’ in your life?

the challenge:

  • What can you do today to start being a link for reconciliation?
recnle

coming out of the dark


11 Comments »


11 Comments on “reconcile”

  1. 1 m* said at 5:39 am on February 16th, 2010:

    peircing

    a

    b

    s

    o

    l

    u

    t

    e

    l

    y

    brilliant

  2. 2 Jen said at 5:41 am on February 16th, 2010:

    I'm so glad you posted this. I've been dealing with something in my own life and have no idea how to 'be godly' as you said.

    Here are my thoughts:

    Do you think it’s important to set aside differences for the sake of the bigger picture?

    I KNOW IT IS, IT'S JUST HARD TO SEE PAST DIFFERENCES. ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WILLING TO BE 'WALKED ON' IN ORDER TO MAKE PEACE.

    (I WISH EVERYONE WOULD READ THIS.)

    What is the bigger picture?

    WHAT THOSE SCRIPTURES SAY: THAT WE'RE ALL A FAMILY. WHEN ONE FALLS, WE ALL FALL. THAT WE'RE SUPPOSED TO HELP EACH OTHER UP BECAUSE WE'RE ACTUALLY HELPING OURSELVES UP. WHEN WE DON'T, WE'RE NOT DOING IT TO JESUS.

    (SO CONVICTING!)

    When you’re sitting at home in your pajamas and you’re not trying to impress anybody, what is that one thing/person/circumstance that is ‘undone’ in your life?

    LIKE I SAID, I HAVE BEEN HURT BY ANOTHER CHRISTIAN AND I AM AFRAID TO 'RECONCILE' BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW IF THEY'LL HURT ME AGAIN. I THINK I HAVE SOME PRIDE IN THERE, TOO.

    (AGAIN, CONVICTING.)

    What can I do today? Take a deep breath, trust God and jump? 🙂 I know I need to do something. I have some praying and 'walking in faith' to do.

    Thanks, Serena. (and is it okay that I'm a little mad at you right now? j/k God is using you to speak to me and I know that when I hear I need to follow it up by action.)

  3. 3 Serena Woods said at 6:18 am on February 16th, 2010:

    Thanks, M*!

    Jen: thanks for answering the questions!

    1)seeing past differences: that's why you can't let 'sin' be your glasses. You'll never get anywhere, grow, heal,… if you're looking at sin to tell you it's okay to move forward.

    2)You're right.

    3)you will be hurt again, by everyone. No person can go their lives without hurting or being hurt (by) the people they love. The weapon is forgiveness and the power to do so is to see everything through the long range perspective. If you don't grab the hand next to you, you create a weak link in the fabric of the 'Body of Christ.' You willingly become the wound when you don't make every effort to fuse back together.

    4)Do it! 🙂

  4. 4 SacredHope said at 6:36 am on February 16th, 2010:

    Four years ago, we started a business with friends of ours from church. Early on, we began to notice that our partners would lie to potential clients to try to get business, and later on to hide more and more financial decisions / transactions, and ultimately they shut off all communication with us. The experience was traumatic as we had invested all of our savings, our retirement, and our home equity into the business. We felt trapped and desperately, repeatedly attempted to reconcile what we believed was a friendship.

    One year ago (after three years of no income, investing everything, borrowing more than we should have), we resigned from our own company and eight months ago were forced to file personal bankruptcy and we lost our home. It is impossible to articulate the bitterness and the anger that we felt at the time. The nagging temptation was always to blame them, to allow ourselves to be victimized, and to gossip. Even writing the beginning of the story sounds like I'm saying it was all their fault … but, we know we could have left at any time and that no one forced us to make repeated unwise financial decisions.

    Sometimes, forgiveness is still a moment by moment decision. Yes, our pride took its needed beating, but it was their repeated rejection of our attempts at reconciliation that hurt so very deeply. We reached out and were scorned time and time and time again. It seemed like the more we reached out, the faster and farther they would run.

    I pray for them daily, pray for God to soften ALL of our hearts, and pray for the reality of the blood of Jesus Christ to cover over all our sin so that we might be reunited on this side of eternity.

    Without question, forgiving them is my responsibility. I only have one heart and I want that heart to be open: I cannot have a heart that is bitter and closed off to them out of anger/revenge, and then also think that same heart can be open to Jesus.

    In my imperfect life, I have been forgiven so very much and I extend that forgiveness to them. Really. I do. God is so amazing. Even now my husband and I look back and thank God for every tear we shed as He used it to strengthen our marriage and to build a new depth of compassion in our hearts. We are truly grateful for every moment of suffering that has chiseled away at the ugly places in our hearts which could have only been exposed in the middle of the fire. Today we are a different couple: more generous, more compassionate, more grateful….

    But, back to our business partners, our brother & sister in Christ: Building the bridge of reconciliation takes two…. we are willing and we are listening to see when God asks us to take another step towards them on that bridge.

    Today, I walk in blessing, forgiveness, and yet at a far enough distance to give these delicate, fresh scars some room to breathe and heal….

    Grace truly is for sinners, like them, like me…

  5. 5 Serena Woods said at 7:27 am on February 16th, 2010:

    SacredHeart: I'm so glad that you shared that. In a conflict, it seems obvious for the 'victim' to reach out to the one who hurt them, but most are afraid of the rejection you have felt.

    When the one who hurt the other wants to heal what they've done, that's tricky, too. I recently reached out to someone who I hurt with my own mistakes. It didn't go so well.

    But, as I think you understand: Something bigger happened. When you submit to the process of reconciliation, whether it's brought to life or not, something changes in your heart.

    When you do your part, you're brought back in. It happens before the actual hand holding takes place.

    love it.

  6. 6 SacredHope said at 8:16 am on February 16th, 2010:

    In my flawed attempts to "do the right thing" and to "reach out" in hopes of reconciling with our friends / business partners I generally had this sense of spiritual failure along with the personal rejection.

    In the midst of that pain, I learned the difference between forgiveness (between me & God) and reconciliation (between me & other person)…. still, when I read your post today, I was disappointed that I could not say that reconciliation had taken place.

    Your response to my story has answered a question I didn't realize I had… "When you submit to the process of reconciliation, ***whether it's brought to life or not***, something changes in your heart." I have never felt 'permission' for the "or not" part of that.

    Time to give myself some grace.

    I have so much more to learn…:)

    Thank you Serena. You are a blessing, more than you can ever know!

  7. 7 April said at 11:14 am on February 16th, 2010:

    thank you for this. 🙂

  8. 8 Serena Woods said at 12:01 pm on February 16th, 2010:

    SacredHope: Yes!!

    Crystal & April: I knew this was for more someone! I could not get it out of my head. Thanks for letting me know it was you. 🙂

  9. 9 Crystal Renaud said at 2:13 pm on February 16th, 2010:

    so beautiful and immensely relevant to what my fellow church staffers are facing. so timely. thank you for this.

  10. 10 Jessica @ These Are said at 2:22 pm on February 16th, 2010:

    Wow. This is spot on with my feelings this week. Thanks for your insight and the reminder that to walk with Him we need to act like them, whether we'd prefer to or not. I just wrote a post kind of similar.

    Hope you'll read it.

  11. 11 April said at 4:13 pm on February 16th, 2010:

    The timing of this is perfect. This line stood out for me- “If you are isolated, then you are weak. If you’re afraid, then you’re in the dark. If you have to focus on the sin, then you’re using your pain to feed your actions.”

    The enemy tells me so often when faced with communication roadblocks/difficulty with fellow believers… to isolate myself. That I’m better off alone. Spiritual Warfare is real. It is real. thank you fo this.