You make the first move
Say these words right now out loud: “It was my fault.” “I’m sorry.” “You were right.”
That was a struggle, wasn’t it? Those words come hard out of my mouth, and you probably don’t say them very often yourself. We like to be right. We like the moral high ground of remembering clearly the faults of others. We excel at justifying our own words and actions and can easily find fault with the other guy.
We would rather prolong an argument than enter a discussion where we might have to admit wrong. Jesus stunned his hearers yet again when he showed them that reconciliation with a brother or sister is even more important than going to church. “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23,24).
It does not show spiritual strength to hold out and give the other person the silent treatment. That in fact is lazy and weak. We show spiritual strength by going first. And don’t initiate that conversation by criticizing the other person for his or her faults. Jesus’ way for that conversation to begin is to admit your own mistakes and sins, listen humbly, and ask for forgiveness.
You may then be surprised, for gospel kindness melts cold hearts.
Specially written to guide you during the Lenten season, Walk With Jesus: The Final Week’s Journey will give you a better understanding of what Jesus experienced during the last week of his life—and help you grow closer with God in the weeks leading up to Easter.
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