Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Take Care of the Cut

When a brother or sister sins against you, you have only two options before you. You may either confront and be reconciled or let love cover it. Jesus says before you bring your gift to the altar if you remember that you are not right with your brother or sister, leave your gift and be reconciled and then come and offer your gift. This is one of the reasons why we have the Passing of the Peace just prior to the offering. If you have suddenly remembered something in the course of the worship service that you need to make right with someone, you may do so quickly during the Passing of the Peace. Peter exhorts his readers to have fervent love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins. Those are your two options: confront and be reconciled or let love cover it. You do not have the option of holding a grudge, and it will not do to say that you are going to let love cover it all the while feeling all rotten and bitter about it inside. If you cannot let it go then love cannot cover it. Go and be reconciled to your neighbor, and do not let the sun go down on your anger. Sometimes all a cut needs is a band-aid, cover it up and a few days later it’s gone. But sometimes, a cut gets infected and needs to be disinfected and sometimes even cut back open and cleaned out thoroughly. It’s painful and no one enjoys it at the moment, but if the infection is allowed to grow and spread, it can have even worse consequences later on. The writer of Hebrews says that when a root of bitterness is allowed to spring up, it defiles many. Therefore do not delay; if there is an old cut that’s still festering stop pretending that a band aid will fix it. Confront the problem in humility and be reconciled to your brother, your sister, your husband, your wife, your neighbor, your friend, your father, your mother, your child, your grandfather, your grandmother. And if you are the one confronted, if someone comes to you to be reconciled, you are called upon to forgive up to 70 times 7, even if it’s the same offense 490 times in the same day. For if you do not forgive your brother, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you.

1 comment:

Mark and Chris said...

Beautiful, Toby.
I wish it were as easy to do as it is to say.

Mark L.