Required to Reconnect – Attack Dog’s Retreat
Key Bible Verse: Do not testify spitefully against innocent neighbors. … And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for all their meanness to me! I’ll get even!” – Proverbs 24:28-29
Bonus Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5-8
In the 1980s, Lee Atwater, a high-ranking consultant for the National Republican Party, was the ultimate political attack dog. He specialized in ruining his opponents’ reputations by planting bogus, demeaning stories about them in the media.
Then, at the height of his influence, Atwater was stricken by a grave disease. A Washington, D.C., Christian witnessed to him about Jesus. Lee confessed his faith in Christ, even doing so publicly at a presidential prayer breakfast.
A remorseful Atwater next sought forgiveness and reconciliation from those on whom he’d played his infamous dirty tricks. He made phone calls and wrote letters. One was to a Democratic politician, whose life Atwater had nearly ruined by revealing an “episode” in his past. “It is very important to me,” he wrote, “that I let you know that one of the low points in my career remains the so-called ‘… episode.'”
Moved by the apology, this Christian attended Atwater’s funeral, and later observed, “I hope young political consultants who emulate Atwater’s tactics will realize that, confronting death, he became, through God’s grace, an advocate of the politics of love and reconciliation.”
—Timothy George and John Woodbridge in The Mark of Jesus
My Response: Am I willing to forgive someone who hurt me deeply?
Thought to Apply: When a deep injury is done to us, we never recover until we forgive.—Alan Paton (of South Africa)
Adapted from The Mark of Jesus (Moody, 2005)
Prayer for the Week: I need Your courage, Lord, to bypass my pride, engage the one with whom I’m on the outs, probe for the root of our misunderstanding, and experience healing.