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    Be a Minister of Reconciliation

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    MonDec122016 ByBishop Horace E. Smith, M.D.TaggedNo tags

    You don't have to be a counselor or pastor to know that most people carry deep hurts and unresolved anger with them all day every day. Wounded people may try to suppress their pain, but it spills out in all kinds of ways. As people who have been set free from the bondage of bitterness, we have the privilege of being ministers of reconciliation in the lives of hurting people around us. Everyone needs to be reconciled to God, and many people around us need God to use us to help them mend broken relationships—or if the other party isn't willing to takes steps of reconciliation, each of us can, “so far as it depends on [us], be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18).

    Jesus commanded us to love others “just as I have loved you.”  He demonstrated his love in countless ways to innumerable people.

    He even loved his enemies so much that he died for them, too. Nothing could stop him. His love, though, was never sentimental. He was honest about the sin he saw in people’s lives, and he called them out. It’s not love to excuse an addict’s lies, a teenager’s rebellion, or a spouse’s porn habits. We love “in deed and truth” when we speak the reality of a situation, call people to repentance, and offer the possibility to reconcile broken relationships and rebuild trust. We are foolish to trust untrustworthy people, but love opens the door to see if they’ll come back in and do the hard work to earn our trust again. God commands us to forgive, but he never commands us to trust people who haven’t proven to be trustworthy. 

    When we see friends and family members who are ruining their lives, we can be ministers of reconciliation—mending relationships with God and with others—when we have the courage and develop the skill to step into people’s lives at the point of their need and speak words of grace and truth to them.

    The process of healing, restoring relationships, and rebuilding trust requires our consistent presence to help them navigate these rough waters. When we help people in this way, we certainly need to be realistic. Even if we give them true wisdom and great advice, we need to realize they are facing life’s most difficult challenge, and many will bail out. The most courageous people on earth are the ones who are willing to face their inner demons and family adversaries. I have the utmost respect for them—and for those who help them.

    It’s not enough to notice evil. We have to get under the rock with people and help them overcome it. It’s much easier to stay in our comfort zones and avoid helping people in sticky situations, but when we extend a hand to help them, we are loving people like Jesus loves them.

    QUESTION

    What does Paul mean to "be at peace with all men”?
    Read Romans 12

     
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    Blood Works DevotionalThere Is Power In The Bloodby In Blood Works, Dr. Horace Smith explains the power of common grace and special grace to prompt true worship and transform our relationships with God and the people around us.