All of us were taught “three R’s” in school. Those three R’s were defined as Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic. These are basic necessities for survival in this world, which is why they are taught.
Then, a generation ago, we were taught three more R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Thanks to this mantra, our blue boxes are fuller than our garbage cans each time they’re picked up, and that’s good for our world
I’m probably not the first to have come up with this, but I think the Bible teaches us three more R’s: Repent, be Reconciled, and Regard.
Okay, I admit that they don’t fall off the tongue quite as easily as the other two sets of three R’s. But these R’s are equally important for our life as followers of Jesus.
Repent: literally, it means to turn around and walk the other way. When we turn away from sin and walk in the way of the Lord, that repentance orients our life differently, for the better, for God’s glory.
Be Reconciled: when we repent, turning away from sin, that opens the door for us to be reconciled to God, from whom our relationship was broken because of sin. Jesus, by his unjust suffering, reconciled us to God.
Regard: once our lives are differently oriented by repentance, and we are reconciled to God, we should regard others in a different way, too. God’s grace in our lives through reconciliation with him allows us to reconcile with others, and to see people not only as friends, or enemies, or obstacles to our own self-fulfillment, but as people for whom Jesus died, people who need to hear his good news.
Living life with these three R’s in mind will change you forever. And it will change the world forever. And that’s all good.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5.20, NIV).