Tag Archives: reconciliation

Just Breathe!

Close your eyes. Breathe in for four seconds. Hold for four seconds. Breath out for four seconds. Hold for four seconds. As I understand, this is one way that folks like Navy Seals and military snipers stay calm under highly stressful situations. Breathing to stay calm can help you too. When? Whenever you begin to feel stressed, angry, or anxious. And calming down instead of reacting is good for your body and mind and relational and spiritual health. The last two areas will be our focus today, even though all four areas touch our relationship with God and Christian maturity. In the process, I’ll offer some tips for healthy conflict resolution.

In Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus explained that we must not allow anger to manifest in slander or physical harm. The text also tells us to correct any wrong we’ve done against other people. In other words: resolve conflicts and reverse sinful actions against others. Open confrontation helps keep little misunderstandings or minor infractions from becoming gaping wounds that may never heal. Healthy confrontation to resolve conflicts can also reduce the likelihood of practicing anti-God behavior against others, which will earn a spiritual death sentence and exclusion from God’s Kingdom (Revelation 22:14-15; Galatians 5:19-23).

Here’s an example of how this can work: Breathe in. 1-2-3-4. Hold 1-2-3-4. Breathe out. 1-2-3-4. Hold. 1-2-3-4. “Excuse me: I need to let you know that accusing me of stealing without proof hurt. Next time, please talk to me first.” And then breathe. Or “Your hateful comments and gossip tear down and don’t build up. Let’s talk.” Breathe . . . Now, the other person may not be receptive or may react negatively. You can’t control that. The point is that we must do our best to calmly but firmly address issues to help ensure that minor conflicts don’t get out of control and result in sin (rebellion against God’s ways). Is there anything else you can do to reduce tensions and not sin? Sure!

Besides the breathing I mentioned, you can remove yourself from a toxic situation to avoid reacting out of anger. If that’s not possible, remain calm and do your best not to react to keep from sinning. Allow reconciliation to work. Here’s what Jesus said about this in Matthew 5:39: “. . . whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” And Paul reminded the Ephesian church not to sin out of anger and retain healthy relationships by “not letting the sun go down on your anger.” (4:26).

On a different note, you may occasionally feel ‘spiritually dry’—that God has left you or that you’re not performing some spiritual purpose. So, let’s go there next week!

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley

On the Last Day . . .

As revealed in the last blog, an end to this age and judgment are coming! There’s no point in sugar-coating the basic truth regarding how things will end, and of the salvation God has offered from His judgment to come:

  • Jesus came to save the lost and accomplish the will of His Father: reconcile with His creation.

This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” —John 6:30-40.

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 trespasses 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. —2Corinthians 5:18-20.

He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —Colossians 1:22.

  • All will be raised in the last day: some for punishment via hell, prepared for all disobedient spiritual beings; others for reward and eternal life as they’re reconciled with their creator.

Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. —Daniel 12:1-3.

 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” —John 12:48.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. —Revelation 20:11-15.

  • After the last day, The Father of Spirits (as He’s referred to by the writer of Hebrews) will destroy the old creation and usher in a new heaven and earth. At that time, He will dwell amongst those rewarded for their faithfulness. They will be His people, and He will be their God.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” —Revelation 21:1-4.

Where will you be on the last day . . . or the day after?

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

An Ounce of ‘cheek-turning’ Prevention is Worth a Pound of Relationship Cure!

We understand the value of repenting and asking for forgiveness, often demanding it of someone who has offended us – sometimes retaliating by severing otherwise good or productive relationships if we don’t get the apology or response we think we deserve.

I experienced this recently when someone terminated our friendship and discipleship relationship because of a perceived wrongdoing. Such destruction over perceptions! I’m sad that my friend was hurt. And, I’m grieved by the loss of the relationship.

What can be done in cases like this once the damage has been done (besides asking for forgiveness as necessary)? Giving forgiveness (even privately) and moving forward despite any negative emotions.

Jesus taught us that we should ‘turn the other cheek‘. This goes along with biblical instruction to be ‘slow to anger‘ and is the one thing we can do to give reconciliation with other humans a chance.

“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also . . .” (Luke 6:29)

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29)

This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19)

BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger (Ephesians 4:26)

For anyone who feels they’ve been wronged and the situation is unresolved: please consider turning the other cheek to give reconciliation with friends, family, coworkers, and others a chance.

Blessings.  Ron