Numbers 14:6-10a Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” But the whole assembly talked about stoning them.
We can see disagreements in the political world every day! One person will say one thing, and within moments, with our social media, there is usually an immediate response, often in the form of a tongue lashing for any variety of reasons! With all the bickering going on, it’s hard to know what is really right and what is wrong, not to mention how each person actually feels about a particular issue!
Disagreements and broken friendships/relationships didn’t begin just within the last twenty or even fifty years. There were disagreements between others as far back as Biblical days, as indicated by our scripture; and even with friends in the Revolutionary War and Civil War, as well as others. It’s been seen time and again over the last decade, given our current political climate. It seems like just around the curve, while new allies are born, friendships are dissolved, with little hope of restoration.
Everyday friends in our non-political world also split; and often due to disagreements that become hostile and ugly. Even families have been known to lose all measure of civility when disagreements escalate to the point of such anger that relationships are completely dissolved.
A friend shared just this week that his family was having a reunion, but some of the siblings would not attend because there was a rift between siblings over something that happened when they were young children. How can this be? How can a person stay angry over something for so long, due to a difference of opinion or other supposed infraction?
There were many people in Jesus’ day who did not agree with Him. He was the Son of God and many could not or would not accept Him as such. Yet, he continued to teach and love. He offered forgiveness for those who would choose to believe in him. Still, because he went against the grain of what was traditional or “normal” he was rejected, scorned, scoffed at, and even hated.
Perhaps there are those within your friend group, or family circle who have hardened their hearts to forgive because of a disagreement, years long passed. It may have been over something significant, or possibly over a simple misunderstanding that was blown completely out of proportion.
I encourage you to reflect on those with whom you have contact with, whether it be workplace, school, family or a friendship that has seen the door closed. Just as Christ went against the grain to make right relationships through his teachings, perhaps there is a way you could reach out to someone to initiate the bonds of relationship once again.