Part XVI of the Forgiving and Reconciling Series
We’ve spent a considerable amount of time and energy talking about this Work of Mercy of Forgiving and Reconciling. It’s no small or easy subject and we’re prone to mess it up in all the ways we humans do. But the goal here isn’t merely to have a good conversation or read a few good blog posts expounding on theology. Hearing the word is a good thing, indeed. But if we are not also doing the word we hear, Jesus says it is like building our house on sand. I’ll skip to the end and tell you: it’s not a smart idea.
So what might it look like for us to do this word of Forgiving and Reconciling? Watch this old United Airlines commercial and see if it doesn’t generate an idea or two:
What do you think? Got anything?
In John 1:14 it says this:
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Word – that is, Jesus – became flesh and dwelt among us. Where the Scriptures and United Airlines agree is this:
Some things are best done in person.
Mirroring the forgiveness of Christ that we have received to those whom we have been wronged by is one of those things. Jesus didn’t send a postcard and neither should we. After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, he breathes his Holy Spirit on his disciples for the purpose of sending them out to share his forgiveness in person.
So, take a trip. Go and extend God’s forgiveness (not your own) in person to someone from whom you’ve been witholding it. Or, if you have wronged someone and need to ask their forgiveness, go to them in person and do it.
You might be wondering whether it is wise for you to go alone. The answer is: maybe, maybe not.
Jesus’ custom was to send his disciples out two by two to mirror his goodness to others. We are, after all, sheep among wolves. The good news is, you don’t have to make this decision alone. In fact, you shouldn’t. Ask other believers with whom you have fellowship what they think and listen to godly advice. Share with others about the trip you plan to take and ask for their help in planning so that your trip might be in accordance with Scripture and mirror Christ’s forgiveness as best as possible.
Most of all, though, be sure this is a learning experience. The way I’ve found most helpful is by doing an After Action Review. Ask yourself these four questions after returning from your trip:
- What was the intent?
- What happened? Why? What are the implications?
- What lessons did we learn?
- Now what?
Now it’s time for us to go. We’ve heard the word. So let’s do it.