Reconciliation with Others
Let Forgiveness Grow Into Restored Relationships
This teaching on reconciliation with others is a practical application that companions the lessons set forth in "Matters of the Heart," our free eCourse for spiritual growth and emotional transformation. The 24 Main Healing Lessons from the course can be found in the downloads section in PDF and MP3 formats. They are also available in our Store as an ebook, a 176 page workbook and as CD and DVD sets of 24, 1/2 hour teachings.
Becoming a Peace Maker
If you have taken this course and done the forgiving, then the Holy Spirit may raise in your heart a desire to recover some lost relationships. Or you may now find yourself in situations of conflict and want to become a peacemaker and restorer of others—rather than run away. How to go about it? First of all, we need to know that it doesn’t all depend upon us. Reconciliation with others begins with us--that much is required of us. That much is under our control. But we cannot control how the other person will respond.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18
Next, we need to check our own heart
If we are holding any judgments against someone in our heart, we are not fully fit candidates for the work of reconciliation, because we are ourselves un-reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20). This does not mean we cannot be used, but we need to go forward in humility over our failings, well aware of our personal need to be shown mercy by all concerned, especially the Lord. Being aware of our own failings actually enables us to speak to others with compassion, rather than censoriousness (Galatians 6:1).
The necessity of a pure heart
Only a heart that is purified of the contaminants of accusation, blame, anger, fear and self-righteous offense can speak the truth in love to another person by the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:15). For it is especially in the context of reconciliation where there is so much opportunity for miscommunication that the enemy takes advantage of every sinful attitude in our own heart to derail the process of healing.
The snare of hidden motives
One of the difficulties of reconciliation with others is that we often have to engage in it with very impure hearts, because we need to talk things through with the other(s) involved in order to get our own cleansing. We go to them because we need to offer our own apology or because we held back a truth that really does need to be shared for their sake, as well as ours. A good rule of thumb is if you just can’t wait to tell them what you think—hold back; if you fear spoiling your relationship with them, it just may be right to risk it. Nevertheless, beware of the danger of rushing things too quickly to resolution.
What Is Forbidden Us
It is not allowed to force another’s will.
It is not allowed to condemn, cast blame, accuse or judge.
It is not allowed to hold hurt or bitterness or anger after the day of injury.
It is not allowed to bind someone to their sins.
It is not allowed to sow division and further discord.
It is not allowed to take justice into our own hands.
What Is Allowed Us
1) Effective prayer--the transfer of the burden of our heart into God’s Hands, really woirks, because now the situation has become God's responsibility. But watch out that you don't take it back into your hands (see Twelve Steps to "Praying Through").
2) Speaking the truth in love actually works—that’s why God does it! He speaks the truth in love to us all of the time--through conscience, through His Word, through the words of others, through the Spirit (Ephesians 4:15).
3) Sharing the hurt of our heart. God also grieves at times within us to reach us, so it truly does "work" to seek to reach others by being honest about how their wrong ways hurt or grieve us. But give them grace to make a delayed response--the same as God gives you when you sense Him grieving within you.
4) Loving unconditionally. It is written that this kind of perfected love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).
5) Living sacrificially. We embrace the cross of the suffering that has been allowed and the difficulty of the task (of reconciliation) for the sake of how God will use it--in others' lives, as well as our own (see The Disciple's Cross).
Pursuing the five things God allows actually works to bring us into true Christ-likeness, a goal that is the heart desire of all genuine Christians. But we didn’t want to become Christ like through such wounds and confrontations! Still it remains true that by patient perseverance we receive what is promised for God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
To accept these constraints and “play by the rules” is to enter into the glorious liberty of the sons of God who pursue Love’s desire to seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19:10) and are positioned to act and speak in such a way that the un-reconciled ones may be enabled to hear what they need to hear so that, if it is possible for them at that time, they can give a right response to God.
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26
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Retaining Healing and Deliverance
The enemy is coming to check you out—be prepared for battle.
Interested in Going Deeper?
Consider taking our free eCourse for Healing. We have designed a complete series for personal transformation, "Matters of the Heart," to help Christians gain emotional freedom and inner healing. In all there are 24 Main Healing Lessons and 24 Head to Heart Guides to help you bring your heart to God and receive His Great Heart for you in return!