There’s a funeral director in a small Michigan town who has overseen some 5,000 burials over a period of 25 years. He was asked by a local reporter how his experience had shaped his thinking in resolving conflicts with others. He responded, “It tends to make me want to resolve conflicts a little quicker, because I’ve seen people go off to work who didn’t come home.”
Folks, that’s good advice from an undertaker.
How many times have we huffed out of the house in the morning or turned out the light at night with anger smoldering in our hearts? We tell ourselves, “Yes, I intend to resolve the conflict eventually, but not right now.” We think — “let the other person suffer awhile in silence.” But if we dealt with heartbroken survivors as often as the above undertaker, it would change the way we think and act toward others.
The inspired writer Paul exhorts us to, “Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:26-27). “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). The issue is not what others have done to us, but what Christ has done for us (John 15:12-15; Romans 5:6-10).
There’s no better time than the present to apologize or offer forgiveness, and to restore a priceless relationship. Let’s be slow to anger and quick to repent (Proverbs 16:32; Jonah 3:5; cf. Luke 11:32).