Getting along with difficult people and rebuilding broken relationships are neither as easy as we think. Further, if we are the one responsible for straining a relationship, humanly speaking, it could be really difficult to patch up. True, it may not be possible by our own might, will power or strength. But with God’s Spirit living within us andHis gracious intervention, it is possible. In Genesis Chapter 3, when Adam strained his relationship with God through his disobedience, instead of ignoring him, God went in search of him as one who was interested in reconciliation. Our thought for reflection this morning is, “Our God is a God of Reconciliation”.
Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.”
With regard to Jacob’s relationship with Laban, Jacob was the offended party. But with regard to Jacob’s relationship with Esau, Jacob was the offender as it was he who robbed Esau’s blessings and run away. Thus Jacob was aware that Esau would be holding grudge against him and could be waiting to settle score with him. As someone who had been dealt with by God, Jacob knew how to reconcile with his brother Esau. We learn two key spiritual lessons on reconciliation from Jacob:
1. We need to consider others better than us and approach them with humility in order to mend our broken relationships.
We read in Genesis 32: 3-5, that it was Jacob who took the initiative in seeking reconciliation with Esau by sending his messengers with a message of reconciliation. Jacob referred to Esau as “my master Esau” and “my Lord “and to himself as “your servant Jacob”. Jacob’s initiatives to reconcile, his conciliatory message and subservient language portray him as a humble person who had renounced the superiority that Isaac had once bestowed upon him. Did not Apostle Paul advise us in Philippines 2:3, not to do anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility to consider others better than ourselves?
2. We need to cry unto God for His assistance to bring about reconciliation with an aggrieved person.
Jacob was shocked and frightened to know from his messengers that Esau was coming with four hundred men, suggesting that Esau was planning to attack him. Out of fear Jacob, first divided his family and possessions into two camps which reflect his initial human way of handling the situation. But later we read that he trusted in God for a peaceful reconciliation with his estranged brother. Then Jacob prayed,
“O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord…your servant”
Have we prayed enough to God for His intervention in our attempt to reconcile with those who have strained relationship with us?
As our God is a God of reconciliation, He would definitely assist us in our attempts to reconcile with those who have broken relationships with us. Before taking any initiative to reconcile let us first pray for those who hate us and whose relationship with us is now in a very bad state. Let us consider them better than us and with humility approach them for peaceful reconciliation. Let us pray:
“Dear Lord, remove the pride that is in me. I come before you with humility, asking you to help me to reconcile with those who have strained relationships with me. I commit myself to consider othersbetter than me always. Help me to live in peace with everyone.
In Jesus' name,... Amen!"