Bible Text: “Truly, I tell you, whatever you bind here on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”. Mathew 18. 15-25
There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. No friendship, community, organization, marriage and family will ever be free from any kind of conflict, feud or some forms of minor misunderstandings. Everybody is unique and we have individual differences that might trigger in the breaking up our treasured relationship. The gospel is acknowledging this kind of reality in human relationships and offering some practical and very detailed steps so that we can be reconciled once again when our relationship begins to crumble.
The first rule of conflict – Seek to reconcile, not revile. The gospel says “if your brother or sister sins against you go and point out his/her fault. We have to be very clear about our motive. We have to be driven by humility to avoid confrontational because our purpose is reconciliation. It would be best if you will be the first one to admit your shortcomings and be the first one to apologize before clarifying what really had happened. We point out his wrongdoings to prove that we are right but all we want to fix our relationship. The second rule of conflict – Stay in community, for community. If the first step did not work, the gospel says, take one or two along with you to be witnesses to settle the conflict. The community has a very important role to do in restoring relationships. We have to be a healing community. We have to always assure for those not in good terms with our prayers. We have to be ready to listen to them and be willing to give advice. We have to be ready to become peacemakers for both parties. The third rule – grieve the loss of intimacy, but always pursue restoration. The gospel says it again, if he does not listen; treat him as a gentile and a tax collector. If reconciliation is not possible for the time being, do not insist, let it go. Perhaps each one needs more time. Do not force, just set it free. However, deep inside, regret for the loss of that relationship and always keep that silent intention that you are very much open for reconciliation. Closing your doors to the person entails pride. Finally – be Jesus to the world. The gospel says “whatever you bind here on earth will be bound in heaven”. We have to always keep in our hearts that we are always ready to be the first one to love if chances permit. We are always looking for an opportunity for reconciliation. Remember the meaning of Jesus crucifixion, he is ready to endure suffering and at the same time hands open all the time to embrace everyone for reconciliation. We have to be like Christ always to ready to embrace, to forgive and forget and give peace a chance to thrive.