As soon as Chris and I settled into our chairs at church yesterday morning, Chris started to smile because “Miss Heart Head” was standing right in front of him. He poked me and pointed – I smiled too. We had to take a picture.
It was rather ironic that we had this beautiful heart infront of us for the next hour because the pastor was preachng about the clarity in the biblical directive given in John 13. 34…that is, “love one another.” He spoke about the importance of expressing love towards other Christians and as I listened to him and stared at this heart infront of me, I was quietly taking inventory about my own relationships with other Christian brothers and sisters.
For most of my Christian life, I have been encouraged to seek healthy relationships because of Romans 12.18 – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” The part of the verse that continually challenges me is “as far as it depends on you” because I see a picture of ownership here – not shifting responsibility or blame. Loving others and seeking peace has nothing to do with how I feel – it is what God has commanded and equipped me to do. I take this verse seriously and I will do everything I can to live peacefully with everyone. I desire to be a peacemaker.
The reality is that resolution doesn’t always work out – sometimes, it’s not possible. I mean, all things are possible with Christ but when peoples’ pride and unwillingness to discuss or forgive drives their behavior, forward movement ceases. My mother used to say, “it takes two to tango” and that is true but there is great freedom in obedience. Despite the disappointment of an unresolved misunderstanding or conflict, there can be peace within when I can say that I have done everything, “so far as it depends on me”…then I can move on.
Sometimes that means mourning the loss of a relationship and ultimately, giving that sadness to Jesus. He understands grief.
I’m really thankful that we sat behind “Miss Heart Head” yesterday morning.
God is relevant. God is powerful. God is good.