Monday, October 26, 2009

The Ministry of Reconciliation, Part II

Living a life that is reconciled to truth means that I cease to see myself as the instigator or producer of change. I throw out all idea of trying to convince others, of trying to change their minds toward Christ. For I see that to bring change in anyway is not my job, nor is it even a possibility for me. I cannot change myself, why would I assume to change the minds or hearts of others?

Any form of discipline I inflict upon myself will not change my heart. My routine may become altered, my traditions may be adjusted, but my heart, who I am within, cannot be altered by actions to which I attempt to adhere. No, it is only Christ that can bring about change within me. Only submitting to His truth can relax and free my stiff-necked soul. Likewise, it is only the truth of Christ which can bring about change of mind and heart in others.

Definitely, I must know the truth. Knowing and surrendering to the truth is how I am prepared to always give an answer for the hope that is within me: as I surrender to truth, Christ will communicate the answer through me. The answer that is needed on every occasion can only be provided by Christ. I do not know the hearts of others. I know nothing of their inner suffering, their past hurts and triumphs, but Christ knows their thoughts. He knows what they need, and if I will surrender to be reconciled to the truth of His Father, I will be granted the privilege of His life being fitly spoken through me, both in word and deed.

A life reconciled to truth is a life transformed, a life that everywhere and in every way exudes the fragrance of Christ. Some will breathe in this fragrance and will also long to wear such a scent. Others will sniff with caution, unsure if they desire to be permeated by this perfume. Still others will cover their noses; overpowered by the draw toward change which such a scent demands, they will turn away their faces not wanting the redolence of truth to affect their fixed focus. All who encounter the scent of reconciliation will have to make a choice between the abundant aroma of Life or the withering stench of death.

Yet no matter how others respond to the fragrance of reconciliation, my sole responsibility is to allow the aroma of Christ to invade every pore of my being. Christ is the aroma of life, to exude His perfume is my inheritance, my privilege, my calling, my ministry.


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