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Thursday, October 12, 2006

1. Forgiveness Versus Reconciliation

“We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”1

We know that we need to forgive all who have hurt or offended us, but

are we

to be reconciled to them? Wherever possible this ought to be our goal,

but

it isn’t always possible as reconciliation is dependent on both

parties.

Primarily we need to be reconciled to God. We do this when we confess

our

sins to him and receive his forgiveness. However, for our own wellbeing

it

is imperative that we forgive any and all who have hurt us. This can be

extremely difficult if the one involved won’t even admit what s/he has

done.

This, then, makes reconciliation impossible.

According to some folk we can’t forgive this type of person. If this is

so,

some of us are going to carry grudges for a long time. In these

instances

forgiveness is a choice. We can choose to forgive or we can cling to

our

hurt and anger and hurt ourselves.

To genuinely forgive we need to get rid of our hurt and anger by

expressing

these feelings, not necessarily to the one who hurt us, but to an

understanding person to rid ourselves of these bottled up destructive

emotions. Once we do this, forgiveness becomes possible even if there

is

never any reconciliation.

Keep in mind, too, that forgiveness doesn’t mean that we allow the

person

who hurt us to hurt us again. With these people we need to have healthy

boundaries to protect ourselves. Remember, too, that meekness is not

weakness. Lack of healthy boundaries is.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me to forgive all who have

hurt me

and be reconciled to them wherever possible. But help me to forgive

regardless of the other person’s response. And may I always admit and

resolve my part in all conflicts and be reconciled to you. Thank you

for

hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

1. 2 Corinthians 5:20.

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