Tuesday, November 14 – Joshua 22:13-16

Nov 13, 2023

Then the sons of Israel sent to the sons of Reuben, to the sons of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and with him ten leaders, one leader for each father’s household from each of the tribes of Israel; and each one of them was the head of his father’s household among the thousands of Israel. They came to the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying, “This is what the whole congregation of the Lord says: ‘What is this unfaithful act which you have committed against the God of Israel, turning away from following the Lord this day, by building yourselves an altar, to rebel against the Lord this day?’”

 

Some of us avoid conflict at all costs while others face it head on but don’t always think through what to say before engaging. Even the most patient people or sophisticated negotiators struggle with conflict. When the Israelites saw this issue of the altar, they were tempted to start a battle but instead pursued reconciliation. They sought counsel about how to handle this issue from Phineas and went to the land of Gilead with a question instead of demands.

 

Many times, our focus in conflict is to make a point instead of pursuing reconciliation. Second Corinthians 5:18-20 says, “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

 

If you are in Christ, you are a minister of reconciliation! When the Israelites asked hard questions instead of avoiding conflict or fighting too quickly, they did so as ministers of reconciliation. Applying this will look different for each of us depending on our tendencies. As ministers of reconciliation, some of us need to bring up the hard points we are tempted to set aside, and others need to take a moment to pursue wisdom in how we handle conflict instead of letting our feelings dictate an immediate response. In both instances, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us as He wills.

 

  • What does it mean to be a minister of reconciliation?
  • How do you typically handle conflict? What needs to change for you to deal with conflict more like Jesus?
  • Pray and tell God the areas you struggle with conflict. Ask Him to equip you to respond to conflict in the way that most honors Him.

 

 

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