If a man says, “I love God.” and hates his brother, he’s a liar.
1 John 4:20

Have you ever asked God, “Father, is there any hatred in my heart for anyone?”
What answer did you get? Did you sense or ‘see’ a person’s face with whom you are offended, or one who may be offended with you?

God’s definition of hatred is far more precise than our human definition. Jesus made this clear in the Sermon on the Mount when He said,

21 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not murder,’ and that anyone who commits murder will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you that anyone who nurses anger against his brother will be subject to judgment; that whoever calls his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing!’ will be brought before the Sanhedrin; that whoever says, ‘Fool!’ incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of Gei-Hinnom! 23 So if you are offering your gift at the Temple altar and you remember there that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift where it is by the altar, and go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:21-25 CJB

In Jesus’ definition (v22), ‘nursing anger against’ another is tantamount to committing murder! Calling someone “you good-for-nothing” or “fool” or “idiot”, —same as murder in His eyes.

It is interesting that Jesus calls those who follow Him “peacemakers” not “peacekeepers.” He explains the responsibility of the peacemaker in verse 24 above. It takes humility and willful action to be reconciled to someone you have offended or with whom you are offended…

What if the offended brother (sister) refuses to be reconciled? What then?

Whatever you do, do not “nurse anger against them” or carry bitterness, offense, resentment or judgment in your heart against them. Pray for them. Bless them. Do good to them and in so far as it depends on you, live at peace with them.

What if the offended person is my spouse? What if he/she won’t talk to me or accept my apology?

Pray for them. Bless them. Give them space. Guard your own heart and ask God to search your heart to keep it clear of judgment, self-righteousness or self-defensive thoughts. Be patient and expect God to intervene. Jesus will bring reconciliation.

I know this instruction is biblical, and it works, but how does a person apply the Word as Jesus taught it?
What happens when the person caught in the offense does not truly know how to allow God to search their own heart?

So many people are motivated by fear not love. In fear they try to control, manipulate, intimidate or get their way or ‘make peace’ come about.

Any time we are motivated by fear, the result will not be good. Fear is a thief. It robs us of peace and stifles our ability to love unconditionally.

Perfect love drives fear out. Jesus is Perfect Love. He is the way, the truth and the life that always leads to our Father, who is Perfect Love. Our Father fills us with His Spirit, who is the Spirit of Perfect Love. He puts His love, His nature, in our hearts, thus empowering us to love Him and one another, even our enemies… As sons and daughters of the Most High God, we can love just as He loves, without conditions, without fear of what man can do to us.

If you find it difficult to be reconciled to another or you struggle to “keep your love on” toward someone who has hurt or offended you, please go to http://sozofreedomsteps.org and complete the application for a personal, confidential Sozo session. We will facilitate a life giving encounter between you and Perfect Love. He will drive out all fear and empower you to love as He loves.

Pastor Bill Kline, Friday, July 27, 2018 The best is yet to come.