Reconciliation is NOT the Same as Forgiveness!

Seriously? Why are they still talking about us?!

Reconciliation is something many insist equals forgiveness. Not true! Forgiveness by definition is a letting go of the debt owed you.

Butting into Other’s Sorrows 🙁

Crazy how obsessed folks become with other’s downfalls. How gleeful they become when they see someone else suffering.

Indeed, the self-righteous often inject themselves in other’s woes, desiring the drama and wanting to make it about themselves. Human motivations can be pretty messed up – don’t you think?

Haters Gonna Hate

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Keep smiling friends and live your life the best you know-how!
Haters gonna hate.
Put on your love glasses and you won’t see them!

We can grow up – even if they don’t.

Ever just feel like screaming “leave us alone”? Yeah, me too!

But here is another thought that is kind of intriguing – if they are talking about you – it means you are affecting them. They are spending time and energy thinking and gossiping about you! How weird is that, right? You basically have a fan club! No one is keeping a closer eye on your every more than those that can’t stand you.

Reconciliation with Haters?

Hold your head high, you have a life – apparently, they don’t. Let’s avoid stooping to their level.

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Consequently, have you noticed that haters never hate alone? They are constantly recruiting others to their cause. And, quite sadly, they are more than happy to twist the truth and outright lie to gain converts to their side.

Few relationships stay broken when both sides are willing, to be honest, and genuinely try to understand one another’s perspective.

We recently had some folks approach us under the pretense of wanting to renew our friendship after betraying us two years prior. When asked why now after two years, we were shut down with ‘Christian-ese”‘ about ‘it is never too late’.

Meanwhile, we are wanting to understand their perspective and ready to listen – and they simply responded with platitudes of insisting that we just forget the two-year gap.

Reconciliation is a two-way street

Every time we tried to speak we were told we were wrong and to please allow them to speak. Not once did they want to hear us speak. The truth was denied at every possible angle. And only when backed into a corner with truth surrounding them did they make any acknowledgment of possible wrong-doing. And once again they admonished us, that everyone makes mistakes so just let it go.

Forgiveness, Bitterness & Letting it Go

Not surprisingly, this is typical of those who believe in cheap grace.

Forgiveness only comes into our hearts through God. Only through His love, grace, and mercy will forgiveness be a true and profound letting go of the debt. However, at the same time that we forgive our offenders, we must repent of any part we had in the problem.

Once we have repented and made amends the best we are able, the bitterness for other’s offenses is much easier to root out and burn away.

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“On the other hand, reconciliation is an interpersonal process where you dialogue with the offender about what happened, exchange stories, express the hurt, listen for the remorse, and begin to reestablish trust. It’s a much more complicated, involved process that includes, but moves beyond forgiveness. Forgiveness is solo, reconciliation is a joint venture.”

Psychology Today, Forgiveness vs. Reconciliation

We Must Forgive (Especially or Even) When Reconciliation is Not Possible.

God is a giver of good gifts and one of my favorite gifts from Him is boundaries. We have learned so much these last few years and for me personally, the gift of boundaries has been a huge blessing.

Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your LifeBoundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your LifeBoundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

Often as Christians, we feel we are not really forgiving if we have not reached reconciliation or restoration with the one we offended or who offended us – or both.

This is wrong and not of The Father. We must not forget all the warnings and truths in the Word about wolves and tares and wicked ones. These we are to stay far from.

What of those who are unrepentant – can we forgive them? Yes, I know this without a shadow of a doubt, but only when we allow Jesus to work in our hearts. And, I believe only when we acknowledge our sin in regard to the issue.

Forgiveness is Letting Go – Not Reconciliation

Moreover, we must accept and learn that reconciliation and restoration also differ. Relationships between humans are difficult and deeply nuanced.

Telling someone they are wrong and condemning them at every word they utter is not going to go far in finding reconciliation in your relationship.

Necessary EndingsNecessary EndingsNecessary Endings

Neither, will doing your best to convince them that lies are the truth. Or pointing fingers at them or their loved ones. This is not the love of forgiveness. It is actually a ludicrous way to try to repair a breach.

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Let’s embrace with gratitude all those difficult people in our lives that show us exactly how we do not want to be!

My very wise cousin who has observed much of the behavior of our naysayers believes there is a fair amount of jealousy motivating their odd actions and inactions. It doesn’t make much sense to me – but I am nevertheless so very grateful for the continual growth and blessings that our detractors bring to us. God is good!

I recommend the post Letting Go of Bitterness to help you in your journey.

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