Conflict is an inevitable part of life — a function of being connected to one another. If we were more open to embracing conflict instead of avoiding it we all would be voices of reconciliation, showing those around us that conflict is more than an opportunity to learn and grow and often to grow closer, but also an opportunity to recognize the contrast of who we are compared to the Lord and his amazing grace. This requires us to recognize we are sinners — all of us — and not just minor sinners compared to the great big SINS of others; we have to recognize that we cannot be better people trying really hard to do good for God, but that it is through us real sinners that the Lord chooses to work.
Knowing all the while that to step into this reconciliation we must step into the unreasonableness of love. Yes, you read that right — God’s love is crazy, irrational, foolish and absurd, and makes little sense to us; while the law is typically logical, rational and makes perfect sense (even common sense).
Logic says that what you put out comes back to you: an eye for and eye or a tooth for a tooth, or as in the law of physics… every action is met by an equal or opposite reaction. Even Paul draws on the Old Covenant principle of reaping what we sow. These principles are easy for us to grasp because they have been with us from the beginning. They make sense to everyone with at least two left-brain cells in their head.
But the “law of love” interrupts this typical and obvious pattern and returns good for evil, reaping where no one has sown, grace for no reason at all and mercy for judgment. Those who would be on the side of reconciliation must become fully acquainted with this “new math.” Love just doesn’t follow the rules, and thankfully for us it doesn’t.
Not that law and logic disappear; they just don’t have the final say… and that’s the best news of all.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26)