Summary: Failure to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters is an indication of something wrong with our relationship with God. JOhn wrote, "If anyone says He loves God but doesn’t love his brother who he can see cannot say He loves God who he does not see." (
What Are Some of the Reasons We Should be Reconciled to One Another?
ILlustration: So many people are angry with each other in America. More than 50% marriages end because of "Irreconcilable differences." Is that phrase and concept Biblical?
Jesus said, "Be reconciled." Few of us understand how important obedience to Christ’s commandment is for our well being and the prevention of self-destructive behavior, thinking and attitudes.
Let us look at some of Biblical principles of reconciliation that will help us experience the blessings, benefits and bounty that God wants to infuse in to our relationships:
1. To avoid God’s judgment. Jesus said, "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother, will be subject to judgment....Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.
2. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." (Matt. 5:22-26)
3. To show that God puts loving relationships with Christian brothers and sisters above sacrificial service. Jesus said, "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector." (Matt. 18:15-17)
4. To give an examples to everyone of Christ’s reconciling power to overcome differences. Paul wrote, "His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility." (Eph. 2:15,16)
5. To demonstrate God’s power to bring reconciliation between enemies. Paul wrote, "For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!" (Rom. 5:10)
6. To be a testimony of God’s great message of reconciliation to everyone. Paul wrote, "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. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God was making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God." (2 Cor. 5:19,20)
7. To remember that we first must be reconciled to God before we can attempt to practice the ministry of reconciliation. Dr. Luke wrote, "The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, "Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other? But the man who was ill-treating the other pushed Moses aside and said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday? When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons." (Acts 7:26-29) Learn the art and science of successful peace making.
8. To demonstrate that as Christ freely accepts us so we should accept others without reservation. Paul wrote, "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." (Rom. 15:7)
9. Learn to freely demonstrate Christ’s patience and understanding to all.
10. To learn how to disagree with some without displaying a disagreeable disposition. Paul wrote, "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites." (Rom. 16:17,18)
11. To motivate you to cleanse your mind and emotions from all grudges and bad attitudes. Paul wrote, "Get rid of bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Eph. 4:31,32) Hatred always does more damage to the one expressing it than the one receiving it. Jesus said, "It is not what is on the outside of a man that defiles him, but what comes out of the man’s heart - envy, greed, jealousy, hatred and bitterness."