“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother." Mt 18:15
Reconciliation, especially between and among family members, is critical not only for the people involved but for everyone. When we realize that one in every four women in the United States suffers domestic violence in her lifetime, and boys who witness violence in their homes are twice as likely to abuse their own partners, (NCADV) we know how important reconciliation is.
Moreover, the cost of domestic violence is enormous. More than four billion dollars is spent in medical and mental health visits as a result of domestic violence and we can only guess at its ongoing effects since most cases go unreported to civil or medical personnel. When Jesus tells his disciples to find a peaceful path to healing even when they are sinned against, he is speaking to us as well.
Too often we hold onto hurts, blame others for how we feel and fail to see the good in those with whom we struggle. The gospel is clear in this regard. Unless we work to look past the obvious, as Jesus does, when he refuses to condemn the woman caught in adultery and tells Zaccheus the tax collector that he wants to eat with him, we will find ourselves further and further from the ideals Jesus sets for us.
Today, offer a hand of healing to someone who has hurt you.
Who has helped you to let go of hurts for the sake of community and the Gospel?