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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Fifteenth (Truth and Reconciliation)

Hello again!

This week is about being truthful and reconciling with someone when issues arise.

I think we all have experienced situations where a rift develops between people. Sometimes it's between family members, sometimes friends, or sometimes co-workers. Sometimes the rift forms from an individual purposefully lying, but oftentimes it is a result of an unintentional lack of truth. What I mean by that is one or both of the individuals seem to perceive something in the other person and their actions become based on that perception. Whether that perception is reality it matters not, because now the whole interaction, and ultimately the relationship, is tainted by it. And if that perception is indeed false, at some point it will create an issue that will manifest itself between the individuals negatively.

How do we prevent this from occurring? Where can we go for help in this matter? The answer to these questions can be found in the words of Jesus (as many answers are!). In John 15:26, He tells us the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. We are blessed enough to have the spirit of truth dwell in us, when the world can't even see Him or know Him (John 14:17).

How does the Holy Spirit help us in seeing the truth? Is it just biblical truth? Spiritual truth? All truth? While the context of John 16:13 is regarding the truths Jesus felt the disciples could not bear yet while He was alive, my personal belief is when that verse says "all," Jesus meant ALL. Jesus is the light of the world, and if we follow Him we don't walk in darkness (John 8:12). Have you ever tried to walk in darkness? You have no idea where you're going, what's in front of you, what's around you, or how to navigate your environment. It's easy to be deceived, or lied to, in that situation either by your senses, your imagination, or whatever else is there with you. Walking in the light there is no deception. You know where you are, what's around you, and how to navigate your environment. You know the truth.

If Jesus is the light, who is the darkness? The answer to this question is obvious, and shows us that the source of deception, and false perceptions, is Satan and the spirits that work for him. If we listen, the Holy Spirit will tell us when these forces are at work, because He is the spirit of truth. In fact, we're told not only to not have fellowship with such works of darkness and deceit, but to reprove them, or call them out (Ephesians 5:6,11).

What if we're not sure if we're hearing/feeling the Holy Spirit, or we somehow miss His communication with us about such a situation? In that case, we'll be back at step one, where our interaction with that person, and subsequently our relationship with him or her, is negatively affected by the perception we have. We develop anger or frustration with that person. Jesus warns us of this situation, and tells us what to do. We will be judged based on how we react to this person, with the most severe judgment being hell fire (Matthew 5:22). We must reconcile with that person, prior to asking God for forgiveness of our sins (Matthew 5:24). A multitude of issues can be resolved with simply "clearing the air," with someone!

Let's say the cause of a rift is because someone knowingly did something against you, rather than just a perception of wrongdoing. Our direction for reconciliation is still to approach that person and talk about it. If he or she listens, your relationship will be restored. If not, you take witnesses to back you up. If he or she still does not hear you, bring it to members of the body of Christ. If that does not work, consider your relationship more of an acquaintance, and let the person be on their way (Matthew 18:15-17). I would add, pray for that person that he or she may be moved to reconsider their actions.

Keep these thoughts in mind as things come up in your relationships. If you're on the flip side of these situations, keep an open mind, put away pride, and consider the other person's point of view. Perhaps you did do something against them unintentionally, or perhaps it was simply their perception. Pray about it and listen to the Holy Spirit for direction. He will show you the truth, and how you should proceed.

Shabbat Shalom and God bless you!

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