Listen to sermons from the Edmond Church of Christ in Edmond, OK.
Bridge-building does not necessarily mean putting ourselves in a position to be walked on repeatedly. Even Jesus walked away or let others walk away from him at times. We must learn to walk away from toxic people, but we can do so without completely burning bridges. God always leaves the door open for repentance and restoration.
Reconciliation is a high priority in God’s kingdom. Jesus said to put “worship” (i.e., sacrificing at the altar) on hold if there is conflict between us and someone else. Whether we are the offender or offended, we have an obligation to build bridges of reconciliation.
Moved to Mourn
The humanity and the compassion of Jesus were on full display as he grieved the loss of Lazarus and mourned with the dead man’s sisters. Even though Jesus knew he was going to restore life to Lazarus, he still “mourned with those who mourn.” The strongest bridges are built on the foundation of empathy and understanding.
Line in the Sand
The Beatitude about peacemakers describes a general approach to life and relationships–deescalate conflict and promote peace. Rather than stirring up dissention, disciples of Christ are to go out of their way to instigate peace.
Out on a Limb
Look at the group of miscellaneous misfits Jesus personally chose to follow him, learn from him, and later lead the Way. There are many reasons why this group should have been in constant conflict, but Jesus brought peace and purpose to this band of brothers.