I woke up to a text message on my phone this morning that was sent late last night, after I had turned my phone off. It was an image being sent to me from a number I didn’t recognize. There was no text to accompany it; just this graphic:
Since I didn’t recognize the number it was sent from, I did the only thing I could do. I asked the only question I could ask: “Who is this? And I have assumed, judged, or hurt you in some way?”
The reply came back less than a minute later: “Sorry wrong number”
While I was off the hook with THAT person (and slightly entertained by the faux pas), it got me thinking about people in my life who might actually be holding something against me. I can say with a clear mind and heart that I have no idea who that would be or what the issue might be, but that doesn’t mean such a situation won’t certainly happen again–and perhaps sooner than I’d like.
When it does, how do I best move toward reconciliation? HOW indeed.
Humility: Coming to that person in a spirit of humility will grease the gears of reconciliation. Conversely, coming with a point to prove or a battle to win will only heighten tension.
Ownership: As humans we’ve been shifting blame since the Garden of Eden fiasco. Own your decisions, especially the wrong ones. Say what it was that you did wrong and don’t dismiss the weight of it.
Willingness: Be willing to do whatever is necessary to bring restoration and reconciliation. But if the other person is not willing, know that the Bible lets you off the hook. We’re instructed “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18. You have no control over if someone forgives you or not. If they do not, continue to give grace as freely as you have received it from God (completely). Don’t make your willingness contingent on theirs.
I was thankful for the relationally intimate wrong number this morning. It brought me back to the fact that we’ve been reconciled to God and have been given the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:18)
As a pastor/leader/writer/communicator, I’m never far from the potential of ticking somebody off. While it sometimes can’t be avoided, I want to be sensitive to when it happens so that I can have a hand in helping healing happen.