How many times should we forgive someone who has sinned against us or hurt us for that matter? We have all heard the scripture that says 70 x 7 (Matthew 18:21-22), at least I have. I do believe strongly in this Holy teaching, and I also believe that there is a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. For me, forgiveness does not = reconciliation. They are different. I believe that forgiveness is between God and me. We must forgive those who sin against us as God forgives us our sins through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. When someone hurts me, I go to God and work out the forgiveness part. In the equation of forgiveness, it is 1 to 1, me to God. There is no third party in the forgiveness process. I forgive so God can set me free. Only God can work in the life of the other person.
Reconciliation is pure. It comes through the Holy Spirit's conviction or working in the lives of those involved. It is the process of healing a damaged relationship. I don't believe that reconciliation is a requirement to live a joyful and faith-filled life once forgiveness is found, but I do share in the belief that it should be considered as the desired outcome through prayer and petition.
God gives us boundaries and all relationships have them. Created boundaries will do one of two things, draw nearer or create distance. In adverse situations the later is typically the outcome. We must be willing to say goodbye to what we thought was a love relationship, place it at the cross, and be prepared to wait for God to reveal newness. Remember, this happens in God's timing.
When we seek forgiveness, and God sets us free we are prepared for reconciliation; relying on the Holy Spirit to acknowledge within us true healing unity when he has done the same for the other party.
Hebrews 12:14, Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.
Ephesians 1:3-10, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
This is my quest, to follow the Star of Bethlehem, to find the promise of Jesus in my days!
Fresh Find: Great Swigs found here!