How to Live the Bible — Never Too Late To Reconcile

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This is the one-hundred-sixty-fourth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.


“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

Photo of two people hugging illustrating reconciliation

Elizabeth Barrett married Robert Browning in 1846 in secret because of the certainty that her tyrannical father would disapprove. He did. The couple sailed to Italy where they lived the rest of their lives, but Elizabeth kept trying to reach out to her parents by writing a letter every week over ten years, even though she never got one in reply. Ten years, and then Elizabeth received a large box from the US which contained her letters to her parents. All of them. Unopened.

But these same letters were later published and regarded as a treasure in English literature. If only her parents had listened. If only reconciliation could have happened.

Many people experience healing in their lives when they are in their last days. In the 11th hour, we have the opportunity to take stock of what our lives have been. This is the time when many people say those things that should have been said—could have been said—long ago: “I’m sorry.” “I’m proud of you.” “You have helped me.” “I appreciate what you did.” “I love you.” Saying what should be said brings healing. It’s never too late to try to make amends.

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It’s just too bad that sometimes it takes being in the final stage of life to shake us free from all the frivolous, superficial distractions of life and get down to really living. Sometimes we notice the glory of the sun only when it is about to set.

But the fact that there can be healing even at that time should tell us that healing is always possible. We don’t have complete control over our relationships, but we can follow what Romans 12:18 says: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” We can’t control all the circumstances of our lives, but we can make choices about what our attitudes will be toward our circumstances.

How do we make this real?

Prayerfully consider someone with whom you need to be reconciled. Ask the Lord to bring healing to your heart, to access the power of forgiveness, so that reconciliation might be possible. Consider writing that person a letter to bridge the gap that was there before.
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Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s teaching pastor. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel’s many books include Spiritual Leadership Today: Having Deep Influence in Every Walk of Life (Zondervan, 2016). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.

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