Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV
To weatherproof our life means to know and follow Jesus’ commandments, because His commands shape our minds, hearts, and lives into the image of Christ. And, lives that reflect the love of Jesus Christ will be able to withstand any storm of life, resting in the peace of God and the companionship of the Holy Spirit.
Like a wooden boat made from multiple pieces of long, wooden slats, united with bracing and glue. Each slat is important, together they keep the craft afloat. Even one missing slat of wood and the boat won’t be sea-worthy, it won’t have a chance in a storm. The same with Christ’s commandments, each one is critical. We don’t get to pick and choose, applying the easier ones and ignoring the less convenient ones in hopes that it won’t matter in the long run. It does matter.
Avoiding any commandment out of selfishness or pride might be justifiable in our minds, but Jesus gave them all for our good, and told us, again and again, that applying them to our lives was a demonstration of our love for Him. “If you love me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15
The 7th way to weatherproof our life is attending to our personal relationships, to be reconciled with anyone that may have something against us, or, conversely, that we may have something against.
The avoidance of this command of Christ is epidemic in our culture, including among Christians.
The rise of social media and the transition away from actually talking to one another, exchanged for email, instant messaging, and text messaging, has made relationship-breaking misunderstandings between friends and loved ones commonplace. And the deep personal trauma that is caused when a relationship is broken creates a wound that can not heal, it just scabs over until the next trigger of offense is taken and it is opened again, producing anger, frustration, and misinterpretation.
Most of our issues between family and friends could be taken care of with a phone call or a personal visit, but we (each) refuse to be the first to give in, so the wound never heals, causing a kind of separation agony in each soul, real pain that hurts, never heals, and doesn’t need to be there.
Pride prevents us from taking the first step. We fear rejection. It is a justifiable fear, in a sense, because there is no telling if the other party is ready to be reconciled. So we wait. But it is pride that keeps from making contact, it is not Jesus. Jesus would have us try, He would have us humble ourselves, and take responsibility for the breach.
When Jesus said to be reconciled to those who “have something against you” He was saying that fault doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who started it. What matters is the humility, grace, and mercy, flowing from your heart, that God will use to truly heal the wound and associated trauma in everyone involved.
Build bridges, not fences. Communicate rather that alienate. Christians have no enemies, we don’t avenge ourselves, we don’t hate or wish ill upon another. Let this be your mindset in every relationship, and when the Lord brings a person to mind with whom you share brokenness, be reconciled. Empty your pride, deny yourself, and make the call. It is one more step in cultivating a weatherproof life.