**Warning: This post may include content that is convicting. Reader discretion advised.**
In a way, we measure life by milestones. Getting a driver’s license, graduation, earning a college degree, birthdays, anniversaries, working somewhere more than 10-15 years. Milestones and markers remind us where we are in life, and where we’ve come from. Personally, I mark time by my birthdays, and by my accomplishments (when my books were published, high school graduation, my recent graduation from Community College, etc.).
The minister who spoke last week and his wife mark time from the years before and the years since their marital reconciliation. Even their children are “split” in between those two time periods–three children during their marital conflict years, and three children later after their reconciliation.
How do you think God marks time? The Bible says that a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day for Him. Is time of any significance to Him? The pastor said that he likes to think that God marks time by reconciliations too. Moments when people give their hearts to Him. If He marks anniversaries, it’s not our weddings here on earth, but when we make a commitment to become united with Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” This is what God marks time by–when you and I surrender whatever it is that keeps us apart from Him. Notice also that he has “given us the ministry of reconciliation.” God wants us to be ministers of reconciliation, giving to other the same gift of reconciliation that God has given to us.
Romans 1:28-31 states the following, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful.” All these sins originated in heaven. Lucifer allowed pride and negative thoughts toward God to enter his mind, creating envy, strife, deceit, untrustworthiness, and hatefulness. He was the instigator of the whisperings of gossip among the angels. The natural human heart has a tendency to criticize others and put them down. Satan still speaks words of strife and discontent today. He causes us to think the worst of people. People should know that we are Christians by our love. We need to give up gossip and backbiting, and have the spirit of forgiveness. We need to be ministers of reconciliation.
God values reconciliation. So the next time you are wounded, don’t just talk about that person behind their back, whispering gossip and things you don’t even know. And above all, don’t spread the gossip that another wounded person has shared with you. Instead, follow the heart of Christ in reconciliation. Take upon yourself the responsibility for the dissension in the relationship. Come simply saying, “How did I hurt you,” and then take responsibility for YOUR part and forgive their part! Be reconciled to each other so you can be reconciled to God. Ephesians 4:29-31 puts it this way, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” The world should know us by our love… but too often know us by our lack thereof.
Consider your calling as a minister of reconciliation. Do not listen to criticism or gossip. Our churches need to be such loving and healing places that people can’t wait to come. When we become ministers of reconciliation, God looks upon it as a milestone in His timeline.