Lesson 5 - Reconciliation

  

To reconcile is to have God bring healing and peace between two souls. God’s method of producing reconciliation goes beyond our reason, emotions, or inclination. True reconciliation can only be imparted by God and the recognized need for this gift can only be imputed by God into the heart of man. Man, on his own, never feels like forgiving, let alone reconciling.

Examples of reconciliation in scriptures are: God to man (2 Corinthians 5:18-6:2; Colossians 1:20); Jacob and Esau (Genesis 33); and Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 45).

We must keep in mind that there will be times when we will be prevented from making clean and clear reconciliation. These are times that we must be open to the LORD to do His wonderful work of healing and remain willing to be obedient at a moment’s notice. These are the times when our faith will be seen as trust.There will also be times that reconciliation will not take place but that is not ours to judge. The timing upon which this process takes place and the length of the season with which it takes to complete it is totally up to God. Our hearts, in the meantime, must remain open to the possibilities of reconciliation, as well as the possibility of not being able to reconcile, and we must continue to pray for the individual and their healing.

Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.

This verse illustrates the monumental task that sometimes confronts us and stands before us. There are times when we will feel like mountain climbers who are crossing the Himalayas without oxygen. We must remember that God looks at the condition of the heart and not at the resulting action, successes, failures, or results of our works done in faith. God knows the condition of the hearts involved, and we must trust Him completely with the circumstances and outcome that results from our actions, even when our desired results are not accomplished. We must remain open to trying and not become discouraged or frustrated if reconciliation does not take place right away. The lack of immediate reconciliation does not remove our responsibility to continue trying. We must remain steadfast through prayer, fasting, and the pursuit of His will. We must not shrink back from the desired goal. God told us that we would be rewarded if we diligently sought after Him and that reward is assured, whether it is presented to us in this lifetime or the one to come.

If there is a willingness for reconciliation in our hearts and we have sought after forgiveness from this individual and they still continue to refuse to forgive, then the law of love would yield to the wishes of the individual—despite the hurt, pain, and confusion it causes us.

A word of warning needs to be stated here. The desire for reconciliation will be great within our hearts, and we must be on guard that our newfound zeal does not become a weapon for the enemy to use against us. When there is a lack of forgiveness and reconciliation, it leaves a vacuum that could be replaced or filled with fear, anger, and the desire to isolate and reject the individual who refuses to reconcile with us. We must be willing to forgive an individual who refuses to forgive and reconcile with us, no matter how much we desire it.

We cannot demand forgiveness anymore than we can demand reconciliation. We cannot ask for forgiveness and reconciliation like this, “I need to confess some things to you and I want you to forgive me and reconcile with me right now.” Remember that it is asking for, not demanding of. The actions and results of these two powerful gifts are a result of grace and time. Therefore, we must be aware of the possibility of bitterness in our own heart. It can begin to grow at the moment we become disappointed, discouraged, or sinned against.

Matthew 13:28-30 “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, `Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' But he said, `No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."

We must be aware of the potential that there will be occasions when we will have to wait for all the weeds to grow up within the wheat that we have planted.

There may be delays in our ability to make peace and sow harmony with our fellow brethren. However, that should not be a deterrent to our obedience to the will of God for us to reconcile. If these times present themselves for us to deal with, we can trust with full assurance in our hearts that God’s purposes and counsel are far greater than our own. We can rest upon His promise, Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time….” If we will focus upon Him and hope in Him, we will have the peace that we so desperately desire and need. Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”