S52P6 – Outside ourselves: all restored
2 Cor. 13:11
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Friendships come, and friendships go. There were some things about life that she accepted as just factual. It never occurred to her that she could make an effort to go beyond certain boundaries. When she was a young girl, she had friendships and fallings out. As she grew, there were certain people who just fell by the wayside and escaped her memory. As she grew into adulthood, she realized that she did not have many lifelong friends. As a Christian, this began to trouble her. She could not understand why those who are her brothers and sisters seemed to come and go so easily. After much searching, she found the answer. She had treated those relationships as transient and disposable. She never grabbed hold of God’s command that we should work to make sure that we are restored to one another.
Life has many twists and turns. A single person can spend decades living in a multitude of different places. As we move along in life, we encounter different people in different times. Those with whom we are closely tied will change from decade to decade or even year to year. This does not mean, however, that our relationships with our brothers and sisters ever come to an end. Today’s scripture encourages us to make sure that we take active steps to remain in good standing with the brethren. We cannot afford to fall out of friendship and family with one another. God’s desire is that we are continually restored to him and to one another. The Church is a body, and each part of that body must work in conjunction with the other parts if that body is to be productive and successful. This means that we are intentional about remaining in good standing with our brothers and sisters, which requires addressing issues of discord and resolving them.
If you think about the average mother or father, they do not want their children to be at odds with each other. The goal is for the family to get along and work as a unit for prosperity. No parent hopes that their children end up spending life apart. The goal is for the family to be important and special. Brothers and sisters should make each other a priority in life. This is no different than God’s perspective on the relationships that Christians should have with one another. He wants us to be restored to each other, to be on good terms so that we can work together for his purposes. If we have fallen out of good standing with a brother or sister, let us work on restoring that relationship today. Father, make your Church an example of how your people are to love one another and remain a true family unit.