Seeing the world through a theological lens...
We Can Work It Out...
Luke 12: 57-59
And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? Thus, when you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle the case, or you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.
What is it about human beings and our reluctance to apologize to one another? And not just us, set-in-our-ways adults. Little children, when they have done something they shouldn't or taken something from another, shy away from a simple, "I'm sorry." Parents often plead and even force their children to approach another child (or adult): "Say sorry!" they demand. "Say it, or you're grounded" (or whatever other suitable consequence/punishment is chosen).
As adults, we often grow Into more the 'don't ask don't tell' model; if we can get away with it, why not go for that, rather than face the person we've wronged and clear the air. But there Is something In us that just doesn't want to admit our mistakes to another.
We may tend to think of this as a problem within modern humans, that perhaps we have too much, or we feel entitled, or we are spoiled, or pampered, or more selfish than those of previous generations. Yet, here is Jesus, 2000+ years ago, talking about the same thing to his disciples. Moreover, long before Jesus walked the earth, Solomon wrote something similar.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Confessing, admitting our wrongdoing to the one we've offended is not easy. We don't want to feel shamed by the other. We don't want to have to feel the flush of embarrassment; and don't relish facing the consequences should someone be unforgiving. Yet, Jesus tells us the fallout will be much worse should we let the situation fester.
Even if we don't get taken to court or tossed into jail, keeping things to ourselves puts us in a different kind of prison, even if only in that relationship. We're never able to be fully ourselves; not able to speak freely and openly. When we've not said "I'm sorry," not tried to work it out, there will always be something between us that isn't right.
It Is that way, even with God. When we are not willling to come before God with honesty and transparency, and admit where we've fallen short of what God has designed us to be... when we've harmed one of God's creatures, or ourselves and are reluctant to name what we've done, we put a wall between us.
A not so small aside: YOU CANNOT CAUSE GOD TO STOP LOVING YOU- God does not put up a wall- we do it- God desires openness and will meet your confession with forgiveness and love- the air will be clear because on God's side, it's always clear.
Kin-dom living Is about healing and reconciliation. Our reluctance to do our part in the hard work of relationships keeps us separated from one another, as individuals, as people groups, as nations. It is not the weak who admit to their wrongs. It is those strong and courageous enough to step out in confession; those willing to make reparations, make amends, and move on to real relationship.
Praying for all of us as we work toward relationship and forgiveness...
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Rev. Linda Pepe
Loving life, light, and laughter...