What is God saying to you through the scriptures today?
In our culture, tolerance is often viewed as a virtue. We even have a museum of tolerance to remind us of what happens when intolerance of others is allowed to take root in us. And while tolerance is better than intolerance, Jesus’ vision for us is more than to simply tolerate one another. Instead, he wants his people to experience and pursue genuine shalom with one another. The Hebrew word shalom is often translated as peace. But it’s a much richer word that conveys this idea of sincere desire for genuine good or good will towards others. To tolerate someone is to allow someone to exist or to simply maintain peace. But to pursue shalom is actively seeking good and blessings for others. And in our passage today, Paul tells us that if we are made new in Christ, in other words, if we are his disciples, we are all given a ministry of reconciliation. Whether the pursuit of reconciliation is for us or we step into the role of peacemaker, this ministry is not an option if we belong to God. It’s a required expectation from all of us. And when we actively pursue reconciliation in our own life, it is a sacred invitation to experience intimate oneness with our heavenly father and where we get to be a tangible reflection of God’s love to the world. So let’s walk in our calling to be peacemakers today!
“God, thank you so much for offering me the gift of your forgiveness. Show me any areas in my life that I need to bring before you in order to receive forgiveness and healing. I confess that I have continued to drift from your ways and find my own way in life. Please forgive me for my rebellious ways. Thank you for showing me unfailing grace. As you have so freely forgiven me, I also want to freely forgive others. Help me to let go of the hurts and offenses and release to you know who have wronged me. I trust that you can work in the most difficult of circumstances. And so help me to see others as you see them.”
If you pray the prayer above, God will surely bring someone to mind. We know only God changes people’s hearts. But we can begin with our own hearts and pursue forgiveness and reconciliation. Be it a phone call, a text, or a letter, but take the first step to forgive the person or a step in the direction of asking for forgiveness.