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Sandcastles - September 25, 2019

Anger is definitely something that I do not like to admit I struggle with. Too often, frustration will spur into anger and I allow it to set the tone of my day. I walk through my day angry all because I decided that it was a bad day and I was going to act like it. The same thing with my relationships, if they hurt me then I was going to act like it. Anger bound me in chains, holding me captive, but the good news is, Jesus is a chain breaker.

There is such strong language throughout Matthew 5:21-26; murder, judgment, anger, fool, reconciliation, etc. The word that really caught my eye is anger, because, as I said earlier, I struggle with it. The thing I’ve learned in my experience with my own anger is, it takes a toll when not dealt with. We live in a world where we buy something new, instead of fixing what is broken. We see this in material items, we just toss it in the trash and then go out and buy a new one. The heartbreaking side of this is that we do the same thing in relationships. This lifestyle is expensive, tiresome, and isn’t the life Jesus wants for us.

He actually calls us to go seek reconciliation. This isn’t always easy, in fact, it's super hard. But y’all know the saying, “Nothing worth having comes easy”. Jesus called us to be ‘peacemakers’ not ‘peacekeepers’ friends (Matt 5:9).

Along with seeking reconciliation, Jesus actually calls us to seek it before worship! I was taken aback because this is something so obvious yet so revolutionary in my own life. When I thought about it, I realized that we cannot be surrounded by broken relationships and still believe we have a perfect relationship with our Heavenly Father. And that hit me HARD.

Then began the question of “what relationships do I need to mend”. I know it won’t be easy, but Jesus came to change lives, mindsets, and hearts. Even though it can be hard to seek reconciliation, I know it can happen because I’ve seen the greatest act of reconciliation in the Gospel..and it’s exactly what Jesus did for us.

But can’t I just forgive them??

Dr. David Stoop says something pretty profound about this, “Forgiveness is a singular activity. It’s something I do within me, and I don’t need another person to participate in the process for me to forgive. Reconciliation is a bilateral process, requiring the participation of BOTH parties”.

In order to reconcile, it requires two, which makes it that much harder, but so much more rewarding.

This is the challenge, seek reconciliation. We have the greatest example of reconciliation because that’s exactly what Jesus did for us. He came to fix the most important relationship we could ever possibly have, the one with God. We can now go out and heal relationships with others, showing them the grace and love shown to us. In doing this we are giving those around us a glimpse of what we were shown and that is so powerful.

With love,

Hailey

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