It seems that lately I've been surrounded by the word "forgiveness." I've seen it in my Bible readings, my Bible Study buddies have mentioned it, and my church even had a seminar on the topic. I didn't attend the seminar yet Laurie gave me copies of her notes. She said she remembered me talking about working on forgiveness in my life.
Really? I think I've turned into a person who doesn't listen to what I say because I don't remember talking about forgiveness at all.
There were two sentences (from the seminar) that "got me thinking":
Forgiveness isn't dependant on the other person.
But reconciliation is because it requires the other person to admit their fault too.
From Dictionary.com I retrieved the following definitions:
forgive - to pardon an offense or an offender
reconcile - to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable
It took me years to comprehend that forgiveness doesn't always follow a standard method of one person apologizing and the other person saying, "I forgive you."
I've learned to forgive a person without them apologizing to me. I pray asking God to help me forgive them and ask Him to change my heart toward them. I don't ask God to change them. I ask Him to change me.
Forgiveness is freeing. It helps me to not carry the burden of the offense/offender in my heart. It lightens my load. Sometimes a relationship continues between me and the person. Sometimes it does not. Either way, I have gained valuable experience to apply toward future relationships.
Reconciliation is where I am struggling in my heart. I don't like the word confrontation. I like the more civilized-sounding word of conversation.
I haven't tried to reconcile with one person because I will be in a vulnerable position. There has been no conversation about the circumstance that led us to this place of "relationship-in-limbo."
It's interesting that a month ago I heard a sermon that by sending Jesus, God opened Himself up to vulnerability. God knew what was going to happen and sent Jesus anyway.
There is one person I have forgiven yet I haven't tried to reconcile with and a lot of time has passed by.
Is now the time?
If all goes well, I know that we will have greater peace.
If reconciliation doesn't happen will I suffer and be able to forgive again?
I pray for wisdom in this situation focusing on James 3:17, "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."
I want to be a peacemaker who sows in peace.
What has reconciliation looked like in your relationships/life?