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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Forgiveness: Is Not Reconciliation

Forgiveness is “the act of pardoning an offender and letting them go.” It is not a feeling, but a command by God. While forgiveness is required by God for anyone who is a follower of Jesus, reconciliation may or may not always take place. Remember that forgiveness and reconciliation are different. Forgiveness is not reconciliation. Forgiveness takes one person. You and you alone. As a Christ follower, you MUST forgive anyone who offends and hurts you. As we have been learning this week, the principle of forgiveness is not optional. But reconciliation takes two people. You and the person who hurt you. The one who did the offense must own it. Must take responsibility for the offense. Must confess the sin and own the truth of what happened. Truth must be present and humility is required. Then and only then can there be reconciliation and this is not always a possibility. Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Notice the key words in this verse: if possible. This infers that it is not always possible. We live in a broken world where there are many factors that can hinder and inhibit reconciliation from taking place. But this does not remove the burden of proof for followers of Jesus to forgive. Completely. Fully. Entirely. Is reconciliation God’s best? Yes! It is always the heart of God to see reconciliation when someone hurts you. It is most certainly the best scenario. Is reconciliation always possible? Maybe – but remember, only if the one who did the offense confesses it and owns what actually happened. Then overall healing can occur. Forgiveness and reconciliation are such beautiful representations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action. While we were still sinners, Jesus forgave us and reconciled us back to the Father (Romans 5:8). Now, we get to reflect that by forgiving others and, at times, reconciling back to them. Pray for reconciliation and believe it can and will happen. But in the meantime, forgive and then put the situation back in God’s hands and live your life free of bitterness and offense!

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