Wrecked is how I felt at the time. We’d been friends for the better part of our lives, but suddenly it felt as if finding forgiveness and reconciliation in the relationship were like trying to find a unicorn.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 18:15-20), we hear Jesus speaking to His disciples about faults had between brothers. We’ve all faced this, haven’t we? The discomfort that comes with addressing hard things in relationship—maybe with life-long friends, family members, co-workers, or others.
As I get older, I recognize the beauty in these verses. The need for honest communication is so evident, regardless of whether or not it is received as we desire it to be.
And what’s more? “If he refuses to listen . . . then treat him as you would a Gentile or tax collector” (Matthew 18:17). For as direct as this verse feels, it’s brought immense freedom to my own life.
As I prayed through my relationship with my friend, a good priest friend shared this with me, “We are always called to forgive another. We are not always called to reconcile a relationship, though.”
For as devastating as that sounded at the time, I can look back now and see exactly how Jesus was softening my heart and making space for new and beautiful friendships that were to come. I am years removed from losing contact from my old friend, but my heart rejoices knowing that we shared incredible joy while we were in each other’s lives.
Relationships can be trying and hard. And yet, we can be filled with His Spirit and move in the direction He calls us knowing that we have forgiven well even if we are no longer in touch.
Are you currently struggling with a certain relationship in your life? Offer authentic forgiveness from the depths of your heart and hand that person over to Jesus—let Him be your peace!Offer authentic forgiveness. // Shalini Blubaugh Click To Tweet
Thank you for being here.
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