‘Life Workings’ Meditations No.27: Coping with Differences
Gen 4:7 “sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
We need to rerun some of the things we covered in the last study because perhaps we didn’t take in the full import of some of them, things that can make or break life. We concluded with the thought of Joseph being spoilt by his father which led to jealousy in his brothers which in turn led on to them selling him into slavery. Yes, it all worked out very well in the end but that neither excuses their attitudes and actions nor makes them good in any way.
Our starter verse reminds us of the other couple of brothers we mentioned, Cain and Abel, and is God warning Cain to make sure he had a right attitude towards his brother Abel, otherwise there would be consequences that would be bad. They were very different and Cain wasn’t handling those differences very well and God saw that if he didn’t get a hold on it, there would be uncontrollable consequences that would become destructive consequences. It’s just how life works, how we work, and we ignore it at our peril.
Now perhaps there are two areas with which to concern ourselves before we move on – how we handle today and how we pick up broken threads of yesterday. I have often wondered what heaven will be like and I am assuming we will see everyone we knew who gets there, maybe not in the form they are here (see 1 Cor 15:42-44) but nevertheless in recognisable form – and we stand with them before Jesus. How do you think we will feel if we went to heaven with unresolved divisions or disputes still festering?
Jesus gave a very specific command: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Mt 5:23,24) The Message version puts it, “If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.” We might say, if you go to church with an unresolved issue (especially with a family member), turn your car around and go and find them and seek to put it right. Now surely this should apply to present-day grudges OR past unresolved issues. As children of God, we are called to be peacemakers (Mt 5:9). It will almost certainly need God’s help and a lot of grace, but He is there just waiting to go with you. Be blessed, be a blessing.