‘The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.’ (v8) Ecclesiastes 7:8–9
My many years serving as a mediator gave me the privilege of being brought into diverse disputes. From commercial disagreements to relational breakdown, most people are captured by their past and present, rather than their future.
Ending well is something Jesus illustrates perfectly. Yielding to His call and refusing to be bated by the insults of His enemies or the disappearance of His friends. Hanging on the cross, He calls upon His Father to forgive all who reject Him, even though they casually get on with their own lives, still ignoring the suffering servant (Luke 23:34).
Jesus was incarnate for the long game, turning a lost people back to God and re-establishing friendship forever. Obviously there was a need to recognise and repent of past faults, yet the reason was never for what lay behind but for as yet unrealised possibilities.
Too often, past and present experiences can blind us to tomorrow’s opportunities. We find ourselves making little progress along perpetual cul-de-sacs because we’ve failed to consider the nature of the context in which we find ourselves.
Mediators speak of ‘win-win outcomes’, reminding conflicted parties that there is a price attached. Jesus knew the price tag – and paid it. Will we respond and live for all the future opportunities available to us within the conflicts we face, both internal and external?
RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psa. 32; Isa. 44:21–23; Matt. 5:21–26; 6:5–15.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Are there unresolved issues that disturb your peace of mind? Ask God how you might best respond and let go of the past to take hold of your future.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, forgive me, and in owning my past, help me to walk into my future hand in hand with You. Amen.’
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