Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9 NIV
A few years back we had a situation in our family that took wisdom and care to navigate. Our youngest son had been diagnosed with a disease and we had to spend a week at the children's hospital learning how to care for him.
During that week we received many phone calls from family, friends and church folk letting us know that they were praying and thinking of us. Most of those calls went to voicemail - it was really luck of the draw if you could reach us! One of those calls included an immediate family member who left a voice message inquiring on how we were doing.
Even though we were so grateful for all the messages, due to the circumstances and being emotionally exhausted we did not return any of the calls we received.
As life settled, the family member who left that message decided to drop-in for a visit. What they did not expect was that we would have other visitors. Still annoyed that we did not return her call, she became angry that she did not have exclusive rights with us.
Showing no grace in the situation she broke off any relationship she had with us and our children. At the time we did not understand her actions and became aggravated and annoyed at her selfishness. The division between us only got wider and longer, in fact two years passed without any communication.
As we prayed over the situation we felt the Lord speak clearly to us, we needed to mend the relationship even though we felt entitled to be angry at her, "Why should we fix the relationship when it was all her fault?"
The more we prayed the more convicted we felt.
Peter (my husband) made a lunch appointment with her, sat and apologized explaining that "we were sorry if she had been offended or hurt by us and that it was never our intent to hurt or exclude her." She sat there listening and at the end of the lunch she apologized for her actions - to our surprise!
A simple apology can change the very heart of a person and bring freedom to a situation.
Our culture demands you should seek justice before you forgive!
Jesus turns that on its head and says you should forgive even before justice is realized. Apologizing and forgiveness is something that we should practice and should be a constant force in our lives.
Dear God, thank You for Your loving grace that flows freely to us, help us to share the same grace with others. I pray that You would help us to see Your hand in all situations and that we would seek You first before allowing our feelings and emotions to rule us. I pray that we would desire humble, contrite hearts and would endeavor to be more like You. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.