Have you ever been in a group situation where there is a problem and everyone knows have their own way to take care of things?
Bob knows he is right and he knows how to fix a problem.
John knows what needs to be done to fix the situation.
Mary knows the better way to get it done and already have a solution in hand.
Joanne learns from her experience that the way to fix it is to go through xyz.
Everyone is right and everyone knows their way is the right way...can you imagine or been in a situation how the conversation goes??
Bob: John, just listen to me. I know how to get this sorted out.
John: Bob, I already know what needs to be done. You should help me instead.
Mary: Guys, I know the best way to do this. Here's the solution, why don't you both follow my lead.
Joanne: I seen this before. Last time we try this and it didn't work. I know how to get through this. Just follow me. Trust me. I will get this sorted out for everyone.
Can you see where this will go? I've been there. I was a Bob or John or Mary or Joanne before. I can see my heart pouncing with the urge to scream out, Cliff's solution is the way to fix things and stop listening.
When a problem when everyone is right and knows they have the right way to fix it, how do everyone works together?
When someone is right, obviously someone is wrong (or is at fault). When everyone is contending to be right, we know what happens. Everyone stands on their own porch and points the blame to the other side. No one will blame themselves for it.
In my experience, I know whenever in a conflict, I am always 'right' and the other side is always (unconsciously and almost exclusively) wrong.
To reconcile, when someone is wrong, he/she should go to the person who is right and apologize and ask for forgiveness...to make peace.
Most people who are wrong will not choose to do so...It is humuliating. Plus just like the last point, those who are wrong still thinks they are right. So why would they feel the need to go mend things.
Even if they are Christians, it is very hard to do so. I can testify to that. I can feel my own harden heart. NO. I am right. Why should I go ask for forgiveness. Let the other side takes step first. Let him come to me, then I will offer forgiveness in return. I don't want to feel guilty.
Is this really Christian living?
What if everyone is wrong and only God is right (Romans 5, we are all sinners). Everyone before God is guilty of sin and rebellion. And God is right. God never waited for us to go to Him. He already has a plan right from the beginning (Genesis 3:15) to restore us. He sent His very own Son to come to earth and redeem us back to Him.
Tim Keller had a sermon and he talked about this. He said that if we understand God's grace and mercy, we should always be in repentance. The only way we can ask for forgiveness to those who wrong us is when we realize we wronged God and yet He forgives us first.
I can feel my own hardening of heart. I need to remember where I had wrong before, God forgive me already. And He paid it with His Son's blood on the cross....
The unforgiving servant....
Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants. When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down and kneeled before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’ The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. "But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii, and he grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ "So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told to their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’ His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him. So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds." (Matthew 18:23-35)
Lord, there is nothing more soothing than to feel what it is like to be in the Kingdom of Heaven.... Can you remind me of my own inequity and how you already forgiven me? May that be the driving force for me to go make peace with my brothers and sisters....AMEN!!!!
...surprised by Grace and surprised by Mercy