Sunday, December 04, 2005

Reconciliation

I was doing a Bible study with three guys on Friday. We got on some Holy Spirit rabbit trails and ended up discussing James 5:16: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

"Joe" said, "I need to do that right now." He shared that he had been holding on to resentment against "Mark," another inmate sitting at the table with us. "I felt like you were looking down on me last week because I wasn't understanding the Scripture passage. I'm new at this and it seemed like you were judging me."

I was really impressed by how graciously Joe confronted Mark on this issue. I was also impressed by Mark's encouraging response. Ricky, the third guy, said, "This is really new for us; we haven't been taught to handle conflicts this way."

Today, in church, I spoke about resolving conflicts with brothers and sisters in the body. Before we took communion, an elder encouraged all of us to approach two or three people and ask, "Have I offended you in any way?" It was a blessing to see people paired off dealing with stuff and praying with each other.

"Lord, I pray that this wouldn't be a one-time thing, but that we would take seriously Your command, 'If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone' (Romans 12:19). Let reconciliation happen in jails, churches, schools, offices and homes.

1 Comments:

Blogger Dancer said...

Hi, I just want to encourage you in what you and the other men are doing in the jails. My husband and I aren't working in the jail system, but reading about what God is doing and how he is using you guys to advance his kingdom is always an encouragement to our work in our small church plant up north. Bless you guys! God is awesome.

Andrea

10:54 AM  

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