Death is a separation/gap between two or more individuals. Reconciliation is the closing of these gaps to restore a relationship. A relationship refers to the way in which two or more people relate to each other. The God we serve is a relational God - the triune God, that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Everywhere we go, there are divisions but God calls us to be like-minded, having the same love for one another as He has for us.
There are benefits of peacemaking. There are differences between peace loving and peace making. It is not the same thing as having a truce. A truce is a mere suspension of fighting for a period by agreement of opposing forces. Matthew 5 tells us that peacemakers are blessed. Peacemakers will be known as children of God. Peace should not be sought at the expense of truth. John the Baptist and Nathan were two prophets in the Bible who confronted people with the truth. We must not cover up the truth in a bid to ensure peace. 1 Corinthians 6:5 tells us that our inability to restore a broken relationship between two factions is shameful.
How do we restore broken relationships?
- Pause and pray about the issue. James 4:1-2 tells us to pray to avoid fights and quarrels. Praying about an issue helps to calm you. The Spirit of God will come in to help you.
- You must be willing to take the initiative in restoring the relationship. Matthew 5: 23-24 tells us that reconciliation is more important to God than offerings.
- Sympathize with the other person's feelings. Philippians 2:4 tells us to look to other's interests and not only ours. We must listen twice as often as we speak.
- Confess your part of the conflict. Begin by admitting our own mistakes. Matthew 7:5 tells us to remove the plank in our eyes before we attempt to remove the speck in our brother's eyes.
- Attack the problem and not the person. The problem will not be fixed if you are consumed with fixing the blame. Proverbs 15:1 tells us that a gentle answer turns away wrath.
- Cooperate as much as possible. When the reconciliation process begins, make an effort to work at it. Live at peace with one another, as far as it depends on you.
- Emphasize reconciliation not resolution.
Reconciliation is not an easy task. 1 Peter 3:11 calls us to work hard to turn away from conflict and pursue peace.