Surprisingly, my #1 blog post happens to be about reconciling friends. It is also the #1 Google search driving traffic to my blog, which means that there are a lot of people who have broken relationships.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
In Jesus’ Manifesto, the Beatitudes from Matthew chapter 5, it says that Jesus looked out over the crowd of people following him and decided that one of the experiences He wanted them to have with those in the kingdom of God, is a people who are committed to peace-making. Note I did not say peace-keeping. There is a difference. People whom are peacekeepers typically will do anything to avoid conflict. Peacemakers are not passive, but active in the ministry and message of reconciliation, whether it is reconciling others to Christ or one to another.
“16 From now on, then, we do not know[f] anyone in a purely human way.[g] Even if we have known[h] Christ in a purely human way,[i] yet now we no longer know[j] Him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things[k] have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin[l] for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
From this passage, we can glean 5 considerations for reconciliation:
1. As believers, we no longer look at others from our past sinful nature, but instead we now view others through God’s eyes – lenses of love, mercy, grace and compassion (v16).
2. We now look at the other person as a “new creation” if they, too, are a Christian (v. 17). We are quick to tell a new Christian that they are a “new creation”, when the scripture is really speaking to current believers about how they should view a new believer. We are encouraged to view other Christians as “new creations” and not recall all their faults – “old things have passed away”
3. God has entrusted us with the ministry of reconciliation (v18). Are we living up to the Spirit of this ministry?
4. God set the example for reconciliation. Jesus died for every person in the world despite their past, their failings and their propensity to disappoint Him again and again (v.19).
5. Even when we did not deserve grace, Jesus died on the Cross for each one of us. As Christians, how can we withhold that same grace from another person???
Furthermore, Jesus said:
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35. This is why this Beatitude says that those whom are peacemakers will be called the “sons (and daughters) of God”. Love is demonstrative, and without that demonstration, others cannot identify us as Christians.
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”
1 Corinthians 13:4-6.
When you think you cannot forgive and reconcile with someone, consider 1 Peter 4:8 which says,” Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” According to God’s Word we are assured that He is for reconciliation, which is peacemaking. And for this, we are seen as God’s children.
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