Much of ministry could be put under the heading of reconciliation. Winning the lost is really reconciliation of a person to God. If someone falls out of fellowship with God, they need to reconcile that. Family or marriage counseling is reconciliation of people to each other.
Reconciliation is often harder than it needs to be. Is reconciliation hard for you?
As I sat in the van at the drive-thru window at the bank, I thought back to someone that had cashed a check for me when I was about 15. They handed me four twenties instead of four tens. My next thought was that when I ran a cash register, unless someone else had been in my till, my drawer came up right or very close to it.
It was then that the teller returned to the window to tell me that I had made an error on my deposit slip. As I fixed it, I tried to assure her that I really could count.
As I drove away, I got a real clear message from God. Pride goeth before a fall. I should not have been so prideful as to think myself incapable of making a mistake.
The actual verse from Proverbs:
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Pride is a dangerous thing. We are all subject to it. We are also capable of falling in a big way – and I do not mean a simple math error.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13
God gives us a way of escape, but sometimes we fall anyway. None of us are immune or exempt from the propensity to fall. If you think you are, that’s pride, and if you have trouble reconciling with someone else perhaps that’s why.
When you see yourself as able to fall, you will be quicker to forgive and to reconcile.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
There are times when believers get overtaken by the surprise of temptation. The easy road, and you may have seen this, is to cast the person away. That is not scriptural. The goal is to bring them to repentance and to bring them back into fellowship. Remember, fellowship is one thing that helps us to stay strong.
Today’s challenge is to realize that you are just as likely to fall as anyone else. No one is exempt. Ask yourself if you have cast anyone away. Is there someone that you need to bring back into fellowship? What steps can you take to make that happen?