Not everyone likes to reach out to others. After all, there’s always the possibility you might get rejected.
I think the fear of rejection creates misunderstandings that ultimately damage relationships. And it’s often completely unnecessary.
I can remember a time when I hesitated to text a good friend of mine.
She hadn’t responded to a message I had sent her online which led my mind down the path of “Maybe she just doesn’t want to talk to me.”
In the end, I reached out.
When she mentioned that she had never received the first message from me, I booted up my laptop and saw that I had failed to hit send.
What if I had allowed that initial feeling of rejection to grow? What if I had watered the seed that my mind had planted?
All of us who are Christians are so because God made the first move. There are no exceptions.
God loved us all so much that He sent His Son to die for us. (John 3:16) He made it possible for us to accept Him.
Now, each of us who are Christians can point to a time in our life when we responded.
You must be born again to call yourself a Christian, something that definitely requires action on our part. But that would not have been possible if God had not made the first move.
"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8 ESV
I think it would be fair to assume that anyone reading these words right now has a somewhat fractured relationship in their life.
Whether it’s someone we are completely estranged from or simply a friendship that has become strained, it’s not an uncommon place to find ourselves.
If the other person reached out to us, making the first move toward reconciliation, I’m pretty sure we would all jump at the chance.
Tears would probably stream down our face as we read the incoming text asking for the chance to chat.
We would fall into their hug if they asked us to meet for coffee to reconnect.
Even though there may be pain to work through, we would feel a burden lifting as relief washed over us.
Forgiveness, after all, has a very freeing effect on everyone.
What if we made the choice to make the first move?
That person who wronged you? Why not send a quick text just to say you love them? Why not offer the olive branch of forgiveness?
You see, God was never the One in the wrong. Never. He is perfect, something we will never be.
He didn’t owe us anything, yet He chose to give us everything.
And He did that by making the first move.
We aren’t saved because we woke up one morning and decided being a Christian might be a good thing to add to our to-do list.
No, those of us who are saved were wooed by the Holy Spirit.
We were drawn to Him, offered a chance to become part of the family of God. And all this happened even though we completely were undeserving.
Isn’t it tempting to simply write off people who have offended us?
Sometimes we actually give in to that temptation, allowing time and resentment to fill in the gaps where love should thrive in our relationships.
But it’s never too late to reach out to someone.
Think about how you felt when the cleansing blood of Jesus washed over you, when you knew you were free from the burden of your sins.
Think about how you would rejoice if a fractured relationship had the chance to heal because the other person reached out to you.
Think about how incredible it is that you have the opportunity to give that gift to someone else.
I don’t think anyone who is saved would say that they wished they had put it off. I imagine there are, however, many who wish they had chosen to follow Jesus sooner. After all, to know Him is to want to live every day for Him.
I imagine the same is true in our relationships with family and friends. The Bible speaks of not going to bed angry. I think that is because once we allow a root of bitterness and unforgiveness to settle in our heart, it can be very hard to reverse the process of festering. And God doesn’t want that for any of us.
So, today, if there is someone who has come to your mind as you’ve read these words, why not reach out?
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32 ESV
You may not get the response you hope for. You may not get a response at all.
But you will receive the gift of knowing you did your part.
You never know when a seed you plant will grow. You never know the beauty that can appear in your life because of one small step taken by you.