Have you ever been suddenly dropped like a hot potato by a friend whom you have loved unconditionally? Was it especially painful to you because you bent over backwards to accommodate their every need and consistently helped to solve just about every problem in their life? Did it come as a tremendous shock to you because you endeavored to make yourself available at every opportunity and whenever possible? Was it a friend who called every time that they needed encouragement or a shoulder to cry on and you willingly and naturally complied? Did you do just about everything for them including jumping through a few hoops?
Well then, take heart, you are not alone. It has happened to me too. To make matters worse, I´m the person who persuaded this gal to become a Christian. I was her spiritual Mom. She sat just two rows in front of me in church. Suddenly one day she began going to great lengths to avoid me. Even when the pastor would say on Sunday mornings, "Turn around and great one another with the love of the Lord", she would shake hands with everyone within five pews but skip over me as if I were invisible. She would totally avoid eye contact and turn her head with an overly animated, exaggerated motion. This went on for months until one day I couldn´t stand it any longer and I took my purse and whopped her with it, (yes, its true, I actually did that) quizzically asking, "Good morning??? Hello???" Weeks later I smacked her with my two pound bible (you might be shocked but she wasn´t) thinking I´d surely get some sort of reaction out of her that time. She never even flinched.
At that time I was not a person that would confront a situation head on so my solution was to just let sleeping dogs lie but God had a totally different plan. He decided that I should get a card and write her a note asking her to forgive me. I couldn´t believe it. Forgive me for what? "Whatever she has perceived that you had done", was His response.
It was the hardest thing that I ever did. It totally went against every fiber in my being. I hated to submit and to bend to an arrogant, haughty spirit but I knew that I had to obey God.
You just can´t imagine how overjoyed I was when I got to church the next Sunday and realized she was not even there. I was elated. I was certain that God would not expect me to actually grovel in this manner but that He merely wanted to see if I would obey Him.
You certainly wouldn´t have a far reach to imagine how I felt that evening when the Lord asked me to read my note to her in front of the entire congregation. I argued, "Lord what will people think that I did to her? - Lord, why would you humiliate me in this way? - How can you do this to me?"
It was no use. I knew, that I knew, that He would not let me off the hook, even though I did not understand why. I came to the front of the church, my face beat red, my eyes fixed on the floor and mumbled, "Dear Friend; please forgive me for whatever I did to offend you. Whatever it was I am sorry, it was not intentional. I would be very willing to discuss it with you, but if you don´t wish to talk about it, I understand. Your friend in Christ, Donna."
The church was silent for probably an entire five minutes. There was a holy hush. Then one by one people started to get up out of their seats and go over and hug and love on one another. You could hear their muffled sobs. Tears flowed unashamedly. God was healing hurts and reconciling hearts. It continued for three consecutive Sundays.
It amazes me how we can ignore scriptures like Matthew 5:23 & 24 (NKJV) which say, ´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.´ and 1 John 4:20 which says ´If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?´
So our obligation is to reconcile our broken relationships privately before God needs to humble us by asking us to do it publicly. It doesn´t matter who´s right or who´s wrong, we just need to go and fix it.
Copyright Donna Martonfi www.psalm40ministries.com