Sometimes I start cruising along thinking I have it figured out. It’s not arrogant, I don’t think, as much as it’s lazy. I really don’t necessarily want to know the Answer when I’m comfortable with my solution. I’m sure I’m the only one that does that, but I’ll share just the same.
Along the road we each walk, there are others we encounter. Some who we encounter are long time relationships for various reasons. Some are brief relationships. The longer the association, the greater the chance that there is conflict at some point along the way.
I’ve grown comfortable with the idea that it’s not my responsibility to fix other people. What about those that I experience conflict with personally? What responsibility or opportunity do I face there?
Because I don’t believe I have to fix others, I have grown used to the stance that when others reject or alienate me through conflict it is OK to release them to their desires. While there is some degree of wisdom in this, it has resulted in some laziness regarding restoration. Then, this morning as I was asking God if He has anything I could write about, I came across the following passage in Hebrews 12:14:
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”
It doesn’t take a Greek scholar to know that “all people” means all people. It also isn’t rocket science to understand what the word “pursue” means. I even looked up the original Greek word to ensure that the translation was right. It is.
This is a hard one for me. I don’t believe that I walk with unforgiveness (although this is always worth exploring), which I know to be dangerous and destructive. According to Hebrews, apathy is not going to work, either. I am to actively chase after peace in the relationships I am exposed to and do so “with holiness.”
I’m not sure how this looks as I am so limited in my ability to make people like me or even accept me. As such, I become dependent on God moving through me to reconcile and restore peace. My heart, however, is not prepared as a conduit to engage when it is intent on distancing to ensure that it doesn’t hurt again. When I pursue and He is invited, restoration follows.