Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Proximity is not Reconciliation

God does not take away life; instead he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him" (2 Samuel 14.14)

From this text I am reminded of how much God values genuine reconciliation. King David, for all his success as a military and political leader, was not an exemplary father. In fact, he stunk! Absalom, David's son, murdered his brother. David forgave him, but never communicated that forgiveness. In place of the confrontation that might have led to genuine reconciliation, he merely ignored the sin. He allowed Absalom back in Jerusalem but never addressed anything to do with Absalom's bloody offense. The guilt of Absalom, and the silent treatment of David combined to create an explosive mix that would rip a family and kingdom apart.

I think David mistook proximity for reconciliation. People can live in the same town and still be estranged from each other. Shoot, I've known people who slept in the same bed but could not have been further apart. The Scriptures reveal to us the God who devises plans to reconcile people. And as his followers, he leads us away from estrangement toward reconciliation. God is a master reconciler! He devised a plan of reconciliation for sinful people to be reunited with their Holy Heavenly Father- the plan of salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. The Bible is filled with stories of reconciliation. A few examples- Jacob and Esau, Jesus and Peter, Paul and John Mark.

I guess I am just reminded today that closeness is not intimacy, proximity is not reconciliation. And ignoring a persons problem (sin) is not the same a offering forgiveness. Ignoring leads to destruction, forgiveness leads to healing.

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