“Let’s reconcile our differences,” a familiar statement made by my husband, Jarrod. If I am being honest, I didn’t quite enjoy it whenever he’d make that statement or a variation of that statement. I have never been the greatest at first, admitting when I am wrong, and secondly resolving conflict whether I am right or wrong. In the early stages of dating, whenever we didn’t see eye to eye, Jarrod would encourage me to reconcile our differences and resolve the conflict between us. If he knew I wasn’t 100% with anyone he always challenged me to be the better person. Not the bigger person, rather the better because I know better. We will get to why he focuses on knowing better and not being the bigger person a little later. Either way, Jarrod has helped me to mature and grow up from my all too childish character that enjoys the cozy and easy route of brushing conflict under the rug, pretending it hadn’t happened, or giving it time for all parties to forget what had happened.
Life is too short to hold on to anger and bitterness. As a matter of fact, Paul, the author of the book of Romans writes just this for believers and unbelievers alike to strive to be at peace:
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Knowing our days are numbered and we don’t really know when our expiration date is, how foolish are we to hold on to wrath that can quite frankly determine our destination. Here are a couple more verses that will ruffle your feathers just a bit and I pray convicts and compels you to be the better person:
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness (James 1:19-20) Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. (1 John 3:15)
Now let’s get to why you and I need to be the better person. You and I know better. Don’t believe me? Well, you just read the biblical instructions that clearly stated the importance of reconciliation and the gravity of holding on to anger, bitterness, and wrath. You know better and in knowing better, you should do better. That’s the power of knowledge, my friend. Your duty now in knowing better is to assume the parties involved in your dispute do not know better. What an advantage you have! On a serious note, especially for those who believe and serve Christ, if you are about the Father’s business and heart then you should be about reconciliation. That’s the whole grand dynastic plan from the beginning. In Old Testament we see God reconciling man with Him through prophets and revelation. In the New Testament, God sent His son Jesus to take the form of man to once again bring reconciliation and to teach us likewise how to do so. If it weren’t that important I’d say God would have excused the whole idea of reconciliation entirely from scripture. However, it’s emphasized, chapter after chapter, parable after parable the heart of God to reconcile man with man and man with God is evident.
To reconcile is to restore. In Christian theology, it is an element of salvation that refers to the result of atonement through Christ. Earthly reconciliation is doing likewise only ending the estrangement between man and man. In order for you and I to end the estrangement between each other we first need to end the estrangement between humanity and God (personally). Why? Simply, we cannot give something we do not have. In order to have access to a heart change that desires reconciliation, we need that element of salvation. If you believe you have said salvation, then I am daring to say, do you really have the love of Christ in your heart? If you did, then reconciliation should be in your life mantra.
I will end with this. Our decision to choose reconciliation does not mean the wound or damage can be undone or erased from our memory, rather it may forever be etched there. It does however reflect what’s in our hearts when we choose to be the better person. Not that we are better, rather our hearts have gotten better to see people the way Christ does and not how our heart that is all too emotional and fleshly driven sees others. I challenge you to be the better person. Do better and strive to reconcile before it’s too late.