Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: NEIGHBOR (06/01/17)
- TITLE: Forgiveness and Reconciliation
By Ramona Cook
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True, when we think “neighbor” we generally think of those who live next door to our residence; that description is one of two that is on my mind.
I moved into a lovely house in a nice community and inherited the worst neighbor I have ever experienced.
It was a comfort to me to learn that the folks on all sides of her house find her to be very uncomfortable and aggressive.
Jesus was asked this question, “Who is my neighbor?” Luke 10: 29
On some level, it is anyone with whom we have contact, but we do not solve problems with all community contacts by the same methods.
My neighbor put up a fence, for which I gave thanks to God. It was good for me because I feel that I have some privacy in my backyard and I do not have visits by the town Police with reports of unsubstantiated accusations.
Is my neighbor afflicted with an emotional or bio-chemical problem? I do not know. I am not angry with her, I ignore her; but I do pray for her.
Unfortunately, when there is a problem in the family, the method of ignoring and separation is an unacceptable way to find resolution IF resolution is possible. We seek resolution and do not give up until it is clear that resolution is not a possibility.
In close relationship’s we talk and reason with each other. Often we seek counsel and hope to resolve our differences, living peacefully and in loving communion.
There are relationships on all levels that will NOT work out and separation is inevitable. Is that a wrong action?
We are called to live peacefully with others, “so much as lies within us.”
Sometimes the other person is either unwilling or unable to respond correctly and to reconcile.
IF any person is being damaged physically or damaged with verbal abuse, by another individual or group, that person is not required to continue forever to live in an abusive relationship.
If there are children in the group, there is a worse and more damaging sin occurring because the children are not permitted home soil that is healthy for good growth; children have only what adults’ permit to them.
Living in a charged atmosphere, they learn faulty ways to treat others and do not learn ways to solve problems. They learn either to be a victim or an abuser.
To many Christians the thought of separation is anathema.
Divorce is not permitted they think, which is not the truth.
Jesus was asked why Moses permitted divorce; His answer, “Because of the hardness of your hearts.”
Jesus permits divorce IF there is not remarriage.
Remarriage IS permitted IF the other spouse was unfaithful, then the innocent Party may remarry without guilt. Matthew 19: 1 - 9
Dissolving any relationship seems wrong because of the assumption that it means that one is not being forgiving of the other person; here is a point of which we seldom think: There is a difference between Forgiveness and Reconciliation.
We can forgive, we are commanded to forgive, but we may not be able to reconcile. We may separate and not remarry.
“Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” Jesus says to us. Mark 12: 30, 31
We are to respect ourselves and respect others. We are to expect correct behavior from others and from ourselves.
There is no honor in living on the fringes of hell thinking we honor God by indulging the works of evil.
We live in community and the rules of community are God’s method for providing us the schematic for living in peace together.
These are revelations I have learned from experience and from the Bible. I wish I had not wasted time and person-hood for years thinking God was in favor of it. I wish I had not scared my precious children with an unhealthy home atmosphere, destroying their childhood.
Matthew 5: 13, God calls upon us to be salt in the earth, active salt, not salt that is worthless and only good to be trampled upon - which does not bring justice into the lives of others and likewise no justice for ourselves.
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