Have you ever noticed that the madder a person gets the more they talk and the less they listen?
Naturally, there are issues, and there are ‘issues.’ And you as a disciple of Christ must decide how to respond to such outpourings of negative emotions. If you are an innocent party, then sympathy and constructive help may be all that is needed. But if you are in some way the guilty party, then apologies and rectification may be in order.
Its hard to be wrong, and harder still to own up to it. It is almost as if we are giving others permission to say, “Well, since you have admitted to that one, how about these?” Of course, it is more likely that the opposite will happen. Confessing our shortcomings is just as much about admitting to the obvious as it is about seeking forgiveness. Godly people honour that!
Jesus counsels that it is best that we do not leave issues unresolved. In fact, he brings this point into the heart of our worship. He says,
“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matthew 5:23-24).
As royal priests we offer our lives as acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. Thus, we cannot view our sacrifice as acceptable if there are those who have issues with us. Admittedly, we can only “make peace as much as it depends on us.” And fortunately Jesus doesn’t expect us to wait around for the forgiveness of those who have no intentions of giving it.
All that matters is that we come to God with a humble and contrite heart. “Blessed are the peacemakers.”