In our series called Restoration Hardware, last week we learned that the Cross of Jesus Christ is the hardware or the instrument that God uses not only to reconcile our relationship with him, but it's what he uses to reconcile us in our relationships with other people. The cross reminds us who we once were apart from Christ and who we are now because of what he's done for us. Those two things together become the motivation and the liberation for us to look at other people who have wounded us and be willing to move toward forgiveness and reconciliation with them.
In Galatians 6:1, Paul says, "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, then you who are spiritual should restore him gently." The word restore in the Greek language is a medical term. It can mean to reset a bone. So if there is discord or dysfunction, or if somebody has done something wrong, you go and you restore them. You reset that bone. I've never had a broken bone, but there are a couple things I know about them. First, it takes two to reset it. Very few people can reset their own bones. Second, resetting a bone is quite painful. The reality is that some of us here today have relationships that are broken, relationships that are out of joint and need to be reset. Knowing that resetting brings pain, many of us just choose to anesthetize our hearts to the emotional and relational pain that comes with conflict.
Some of you are avoiding conflict right now. Some of us negotiate the pain of conflict by escaping. We run. We get hurt by our parents or our friends or our ex-friends, and we escape. I'm sure that our church is filled with people who ran from another church and came here. And there are other churches nearby that are filled ...
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David Daniels is pastor of Pantego Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and co-founder and executive board member of Beta Upsilon Chi (Brothers Under Christ), a national Christian fraternity.