As mentioned last week, this poem took longer than normal for me to write. But, I was also working on another project during this time — so that was part of the delay.
This was one the those times when I had the title of the poem before writing a single word. Rick Warren wrote in chapter 20 (Restoring Broken Fellowship) in his book, The Purpose-Driven Life:
If you want God's blessing on your life and you want to be known as a child of God, you must learn to be a peacemaker.
So, armed with a title, a bunch of scripture, and the grace of God I was off on another journey. And, in the process, learned the meaning of atone.
Based on 2 Corinthians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 2:1-2; Matthew 5:9; 1 Corinthians 6:5; James 4:1-2; Matthew 5:23-24; Job 5:2; Proverbs 19:11; Matthew 7:5; Proverbs 15:1; Romans 12:18
As you've been atoned to myself through my son,
I've asked you to minister grace:
make peace between me and the world that you face —
atone means quite simply, at one.
Restore, or atone, your relationships now!
Disputes between Christians must end!
Agree with and love — be a like-minded friend;
splash love as my oceans allow.
Those working for peace are called children of God;
those causing the quarrels are not.
There must be a wise one among you that's got
the tools to keep Christians declawed.
What causes your quarrels? How do they begin?
You want what you cannot obtain.
You ask not so have not and flounder in vain,
and sink in your quagmire of sin.
If you enter worship, an offering to lift,
recall, then, a grudge by a friend,
just leave it — make peace with that brother again.
'Tis then you may offer your gift.
Resentment and worry bring death to the fool,
a senseless, absurd thing to do.
The person hurt most is none other than you —
exploding with anger as fuel.
The wisdom of man keeps his anger in check;
his glory lets wrongs pass him by.
If you could remove that great log from your eye,
you might see your friend's tiny speck.
A gentle response will make angry words cease,
a sharp tongue will kindle a fire.
In all that you do, may this be your desire:
be one with the world in peace.
2 Corinthians 5:18 (GWT)
[God] has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships.
1 Corinthians 1:10 (Msg)
I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other.
Philippians 2:1-2 (Msg)
If you’ve gotten anything out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, . . . Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.
Matthew 5:9 (NLT)
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
1 Corinthians 6:5 (TEV)
Shame on you! Surely there is at least one wise person in your fellowship who can settle a dispute between fellow Christians.
James 4:1-2 (NIV)
What causes fights and quarrels among you? . . . You want something but don’t get it . . . . You do not have, because you do not ask God.
Matthew 5:23-24 (Msg)
If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.
Job 5:2 (TEV)
To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do and you are only hurting yourself with your anger.
Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Matthew 7:5 (NLT)
First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the spec on your friend’s eye.
Proverbs 15:1 (Msg)
A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
Romans 12:18 (TEV)
Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.
GWT: God's Word Translation • Msg: The Message • NLT: New Living Translation • TEV: Today's English Version • NIV: New International Version