“I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have
overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as
much!” – Luke 19:8 (NLT)
When Zacchaeus uttered these profound words, it was after he
discovered you can not be right with God until you are first right
with those you’ve hurt. Joseph discovered that being Prime Minister
does not mean much if your family relationships are strained. A
relationship is a lot like a house . . . if you fail to maintain it,
your task will not be to repair it; it’ll be to rebuild it. We each
carry within us the experience of our yesterdays. They influence our
relationships, our choices, our view of ourselves, even our
understanding of God. Friends, please allow this next statement to
really sink in: You can not live in a spiritually healthy fashion if
you have an unrepaired past.
For a long time, Jacob lived that way. He took advantage of his
brother Esau, manipulating him out of his inheritance. Then when
things got bad between them, he fled the country. When he returned
home, he did so fearing the face of his brother. In his case, the
relationship was healed, but it does not always end that way.
Repairing the past is best done immediately. Patching up wounded
relationships, dealing with festering regrets, letting go of feelings
toward someone who’s betrayed you; these issues lie deep within us as
if asleep. Then suddenly, they’re awakened by some “trigger”. It
could be an anniversary, an old face in the crowd or a particular
song on the radio, but they do not go away until we deal with them.
So how do we do that? By forgiving, and when possible making
restitution. You see, forgiveness isn’t just for the other person’s
benefit; it’s for you.
Is there a relationship you need to repair today? If so, take care of