North Point is currently doing a series on a subject we all can relate to – family. This link also has discussion questions if you want to do a study with your small group: http://www.northpoint.org/messages/future-family.
It was the 4th message that really caught my attention. In this message Andy describes a state most of us have come to at some point in our family lives – a point where we tell ourselves a lie about family – “I don’t care.” For example:
- “I haven’t talked to my dad in years and I don’t care”
- “My brother stole from the family, I don’t want anything to do with him and I don’t care”
- “My mom ran off with some other guy, I don’t want anything to do with her, and I don’t care”
- “My brother-in-law hurt our family, I won’t talk to him anymore, and I don’t care”
You get the point.
Andy calls this a lie because deep down, even if we don’t admit it, we do care; we were born to care. And even if we don’t admit it we all have a deep need to reconcile whatever relationship is broken – no matter how broken. It is ingrained in us.
Most likely we won’t reconcile because we were hurt in some way. And we aren’t going to forgive until we receive an apology. Or maybe the situation is so bad that even if we receive an apology we still won’t forgive. We have decided we are going to stay angry at this person until, well, our deathbed.
We have so much resentment we are going to carry this anger around for the next 5, 10, 20, 40 years – that is how long we have decided we are going to be miserable.
Here are three reasons why we should take the first step towards reconciliation:
- 2 Corinthians 5:18 – 19 “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 people’s sins against them.” Andy summarized this point so incredibly well: You can be reconciled to God in spite of your sin but you won’t reconcile with your family member because of their sin. Basically saying your standards are higher than God’s.
- Matthew 6:14 – 15: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
- Reconciling is good for us. A quote from a church sign I will never forget: “Holding resentment is like taking a poison pill and hoping the other person gets sick.” We are only hurting ourselves.
We can grow old and bitter holding onto to our resentment or we can release that person, freeing ourselves so we can start the process of reconciliation. Some would say “you have no idea what has been done to me” – and you would be right. But we still have a choice – we can forgive and start the process of peace or we can hold onto it and be miserable – it’s our choice.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Who do you need to forgive so you can start the process of reconciliation?
In His Service,
Related verses: Romans 12:17-20
Related post: Guilty as Charged?