Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
–Amos 3:3 KJV
There are several biblical conditions that must take place for reconciliation to occur. Now, there are no conditions for forgiveness. You can forgive somebody unconditionally. When you forgive somebody, you let go of your right to hurt that person for hurting you. But before you can be reconciled to the person who has wronged you, there are some things you want to see in that person’s life.
The first requirement for reconciliation is repentance. Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of direction. In Amos 3:3 the prophet asks an interesting question: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (KJV). Now that’s a strange question, isn’t it? A husband and wife don’t have to agree on everything to be married. You can be friends with somebody who has a different political affiliation. A church doesn’t require members to have theological conformity on every minor point of doctrine. So what does Amos mean when he says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” He is saying that there are some secondary issues we don’t have to agree on, but the most basic issue we must agree on is how you are treating me. If you are in a relationship with somebody, and you feel he has wronged you but he refuses to believe he has wronged you, then it is going to cause a rupture in the relationship. Only when your offender is willing to admit he has hurt you will that relationship ever be healed.
That’s true in our relationship with God. In fact, that’s the setting for Amos 3:3. The prophet was saying, “God says you have wronged Him; yet you say you have not wronged Him. There is a problem here. Until you Israelites are willing to admit your wrong toward God, you are not going to be able to walk together with God.” That is true in your relationship with God and my relationship with God. As long as God says you have sinned but you keep saying that you have not sinned–even as a Christian, you are not going to have a right relationship with God.
What is true in our relationship with God is also true in our relationships with other people. For there to be a reconciliation, there has to be recognition of a wrong that has been done. Let’s say a couple has been married for 20 years; and every Valentine’s Day the husband orders a dozen roses for his wife. On this Valentine’s Day he gets distracted at work and forgets. He comes home and his wife asks, “Where are my flowers?” He could say, “I don’t know what happened. I ordered them. The florist must have messed up.” Or he could say, “Who cares? Get over it. For 20 years I’ve remembered and I forgot this one time. Get off your high horse, just look back on the 20 years, and let tonight go.” What do you think her reaction is going to be to either of those answers? Only when the husband admits he made a mistake, acknowledges the hurt he caused his wife, and assures her that he will try to make sure it doesn’t happen again–that is the only way a reconciliation is going to take place.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Forgiving People You Never Want to Eat Lunch with Again” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible. Public domain.