Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing. It is important to know the difference so that when you do forgive your former spouse, you do not automatically expect to be reconciled in some way.

Doug Easterday says, "Forgiveness is getting your heart right with God. Reconciliation is getting your heart right with people."

"Forgiveness is letting go of the burden," says Harold Graham, "and reconciliation is renewing or redefining a relationship."

The Bible says that you should live in peace with other people and that you should make every effort to do so. Living peaceably with others starts with forgiveness—holding no grudges, anger, or bitterness against that person. Yes, reconciliation is ideal, but not always possible. People can get hurt by rushing to reconcile after forgiveness has taken place. Sometimes living in peace means leaving the other person alone for a while and not aggravating the situation.

If your former spouse is NOT showing genuine remorse, says Doug Schmidt, acknowledging wrong behavior, showing a willingness to bear the burden of the damage, and doing everything humanly possible to correct the behavior, then yes, you are still required to forgive. But the next step would be to back off and protect yourself from further damaging behaviors. Do not equate forgiveness with reconciliation.

"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification" (Romans 14:19).

"Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" (Amos 3:3).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please tell us what you think...