Resolving Injustice

Deep within the heart of humanity is a cry for justice. The innocent should not suffer, the guilty should not go free, and evil should not prevail over good. Yet, daily we are confronted with these unfortunate realities of our broken, unjust world, and it can stir within us what we may define as a “righteous anger” that compels us to right the wrongs that run rampant in our society.

At times, the same inclination that propels us toward fairness and justice, pushes us away from the kind of forgiveness that cancels the debt of those who have harmed us in a very personal way. After all, to forgive is to give up our right to settle the score – and when we’ve been hurt, we usually want this more than anything else. When our pain is most intense, we don’t want reconciliation. We want retribution.

So how do we respond when someone is repentant over an offense and genuinely seeks forgiveness? Do we release the issue to the Lord and forgive as we have been forgiven (Col 3:13)? Or do we continue to harbor anger and bitterness?

Final Thoughts…

Some of the injustices inflicted on us are relatively minor, while others may be profoundly life-altering. To be sure, there are times when it is appropriate or necessary to take precautions while processing forgiveness. Regardless of the circumstances, one question begs a reply: Am I willing to trust my Heavenly Father, who is righteous, merciful, and just, to bring resolution to this issue in His own time and way?

If we’re being honest, I think we all have situations we’d much rather handle on our own than give to God. If you find yourself needing to choose between reconciliation and retribution, I’d urge you to prayerfully consider this: Are my acts of retribution able to resolve my situation? How could it make things better? How could it make things worse? What are the potential outcomes of trusting God with the issue and forgiving the person who has wronged me?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

Next week, we will continue to reflect on how to move forward in forgiveness. As always, thanks for reading and sharing The Path of a Peacemaker blog!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Letting Go of the Pain

As believers, we are called to place our faith in Christ – not only for salvation, but also for guidance, healing, and our very sustenance. While some find that trusting in the Lord comes naturally, others may find this more difficult. To be sure, all of us struggle with this at one time or another, especially when it comes to dealing with the pain in our hearts.

In Psalm 30:11, we read of how our loving Father can turn our mourning into dancing. Yet, even as we contemplate the depths of His compassion and mercy, there are times when we still may hesitate to trust Him with the hurt that comes from the unresolved conflict in our lives.

Is it because we aren’t willing to trust our Father? Perhaps. Yet, I have found that there often are other factors. One such factor is our tendency to focus more on what is lost through forgiveness than what is gained. Forgiveness beseeches us to give up our grudges. Yet, if we will extend the gift of grace, we will gain so much more – a deep, abiding peace and the reward of a reconciled relationship.

Final Thoughts…

As difficult as it is to suffer through the pain of unresolved conflict, some of us have an easier time holding on to it than letting it go. If this is a struggle for you, I pray that your heart will be touched by the mercy of our Father, the mender of all that is broken.

If the pain of the past is blocking your path toward forgiveness, here are some thoughts for you to consider: What do I have to lose by releasing my pain to God? What do I have to gain? If I can trust God for salvation, what is preventing me from trusting Him with this difficult situation?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

Next week, we will continue to reflect on how to move forward in forgiveness. As always, thanks for reading and sharing The Path of a Peacemaker blog!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Will You Forgive Me?

When it comes to reconciling relationships that have been broken by conflict, there is no substitute for humility when confessing our faults, acknowledging the hurt, accepting the consequences of our actions, committing to change, and making restitution for any losses incurred as a result of the dispute.  After making a complete and authentic confession to the one with whom there has been disagreement, one question remains: Will you forgive me?

It’s a simple request, but requires a weighty decision. In this intensely personal and potentially pivotal moment, the one on the receiving end of this question may need time and space to do the same kind of soul searching that may have taken us days, weeks, months, or perhaps even years to complete. Rather than expecting an immediate response, the Spirit of God compels us to respond with extraordinary sensitivity, compassion, and patience.

While our hearts desire the gift of forgiveness, no matter the outcome, we can know that our Father is pleased by our efforts to do all we can to live at peace with our fellow man (Romans 12:18).

Final Thoughts…

As we conclude our series on confession, I leave you with this final thought: authentic confession is less about the words we speak, and more about the heart from which they are spoken.

Yes, our words do matter… but are they seasoned with humility and grace? Are they an outflow of a broken and contrite heart? Have they been motivated by a change that has taken place deep within us? If we’ll give honest answers to these questions, it may help us discern whether we are simply going through the motions or experiencing true repentance that results from the life-changing work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. As we pursue the path of peace, we reflect the grace and glory of the One who guides us on The Path of a Peacemaker.

Up Ahead on “The Path”

Next week, we will take a look at some things to consider when choosing to forgive. As always, thanks for reading and sharing The Path of a Peacemaker blog!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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What Can Be Restored?

Conflict can be devastating. Whether the impact is physical, emotional, or material, the pain is real and the loss is undeniable. Even in situations where it seems that nothing can be done to right a wrong, as peacemakers, the grace of God compels us to do all that we can to repair what has been broken or to restore what has been lost.

When we ourselves have suffered greatly as a result of a dispute, it can be difficult to go the extra mile to make restitution for any loss incurred by others. Yet, when we look at the circumstances through the lens of grace, our hearts can be moved by God’s Spirit, “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [our] God,” (Micah 6:8b).

 Final Thoughts…

If you find yourself needing to make amends in a relationship, are you willing to count the cost and carefully consider what can be restored? Peace may come at great personal sacrifice, yet at times, it is a part of our journey along The Path of a Peacemaker.

As you pursue reconciliation through authentic confession, here are some questions that may produce some useful insights: In order to fully resolve this conflict, what restitution needs to be made? Is restitution needed for something material – or does something intangible (i.e., trust, respect, etc.) need to be restored? What is each person’s responsibility in the matter, and how can each be held accountable?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

In next week’s blog post, we’ll continue to look at the importance of confession in the peacemaking process. As always, thanks for reading and sharing The Path of a Peacemaker blog!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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