2 Corinthians 5:17-21(NLT) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Proverbs 16:28 (NLT)
A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
These verses may seem unrelated but they are not. Trust me. Read on.
I had an interesting weekend. A good weekend. Why? I participated in a reconciliation. I’m actually ashamed to admit that part of the conflict arose because I listened to a troublemaker; a pot-stirrer; a busy body who told half-truths. (In my opinion, a half-truth is a whole lie) Anyway…I had to own my part; the other person owned their part and we agreed to start with a clean slate. During the course of our conversation, we discovered that we were BOTH listening to the gossiper. If we had just talked directly to each other; most of this could have been avoided. Instead, we allowed someone to cause division, hurt feelings, misunderstandings and, most damning of all, bring dishonor on the name of Jesus Christ; as we both profess to love the Lord.
I admit, I let this situation go on too long. It’s shameful. I am an ambassador of Christ. Instead of sowing peace, I was allowing trouble to be stirred up. Instead of reconciliation, I was participating in division. I was participating in the sin of the pot-stirrer by listening and receiving gossip. I took this gossip to be fact and, sometimes, repeated it as such. Shameful on my part. This is not what Christ intended. I should have shut the gossip down immediately. I didn’t and had to deal with the consequences. I confessed my sin to the Lord and have received His forgiveness. I have reconciled with the other person; we are starting with a clean slate. I have learned a valuable lesson that I will not soon forget. I am a disciple and an ambassador of Christ. The ministry of reconciliation is given to all believers. Not only are we called to reconcile others with Christ; but with each other. Blessed are the peacemakers.