|The Ministry of Reconciliation|
We have a mandate to forgive, but this mandate is not an end in itself. The goal is not to forgive and then move on. The goal is to forgive and allow trust to rebuild. This is the ministry of reconciliation in action.
|Winter Has Come|
Reconciliation is a two-way street. If we have been hurt, we cannot reconcile with a person who is unrepentant for their actions. You can however, act in the ministry of reconciliation, as Pastor Steve did, by praying daily for their hearts to be healed and for them to come to a place where they can see the wrong they've done. It's possible that God will work in your heart, as well, showing you areas where you may have perceived things in a way that the other person did not intend.
On the flip side, if we have hurt someone, we cannot reconcile with them until they are ready to release trust in some measure. Of course, full confidence will have to build again over time. In fact, in these situations, trust is often lost on both sides and will have to be regained. If two people are willing, trust can be rebuilt.
|Spring Has Come|
1. Go to the one who hurt you, either in person or on the phone is best, and tell them what they did to hurt you. Give specific examples, using the "I-message" model: "I felt _____ when you _____." Try to avoid "you" statements (basically, starting a sentence with you).
2. If they exhibit the "Five R's" of a good apology (Regret, Responsibility, Restitution, Repentance, Requesting Forgiveness), then confess that you accept their apology and let them know that you will pray about how to begin repairing the damage done and rebuilding the bridges toward trust and friendship.
3. In the quiet of your home, say a prayer to release forgiveness.
4. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to extend trust again, and obey His prompting.
There are endless ways our fellow man can hurt us, but there is only one way to be healed--forgiveness with the goal of reconciliation. You may need help with this. As I said before, some people are not "safe" to extend full trust to again.
If you need help, be sure to turn to someone who practices the ministry of reconciliation and not someone who stops short at Jesus' mandate to forgive. The key to freedom is learning the art of extending trust once again.
|Autumn--All Things Must Die|