Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Wisdomforlife

Forgiveness is different from reconciliation.

Start with forgiveness.

  • Jesus clearly warned that God will not forgive our sins if we do not forgive those who sin against us (Matthew 6:14-15Mark 11:25).
  • It’s not that we earn God’s forgiveness by forgiving, but that God expects forgiven people to forgive (Matthew 18:21-35).

Forgiveness happens in the context of one’s relationship with God (apart from contact with an offender). The problem is that people assume that forgiving an offender requires them to offer immediate reconciliation. It doesn’t.

Reconciliation

Reconciliation is about restoring broken relationships. And sometimes restoration is a process, especially when trust is deeply broken. Restoration might have to be a slow and lengthy process.

Different from forgiveness

Forgiveness is not conditioned on the response of an offender. Forgiveness happens in the presence of God (Mark 11:25; Romans 12:17-21).

Reconciliation is conditioned on the attitude and…

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