Forgiveness vs. reconciliation

By Dave Henning / March 22, 2016

starsapphireIn Chapter 9 (“Steering Clear of Stone-Throwers: Forgiveness Is One Thing, Reconciliation Is Another”) of How to Forgive, June Hunt explores the topic of forgiveness vs. reconciliation.  Ms. Hunt states that reconciliation after an offense is the ideal goal to strive for.  However, the differences between forgiveness and reconciliation are numerous.  Of the seven differences June describes, three caught my attention:

  • Forgiveness is a decision to release the person who has harmed you; reconciliation is an effort to rejoin the person who harmed you.
  • Forgiveness involves a change in thinking about the offender; reconciliation involves a change in behavior by the offender.
  • Forgiveness is unconditional regardless of a lack of repentance; reconciliation is conditional based on repentance.

Ms. Hunt emphasizes that restored trust is the essential element in reconciliation.  Developing trust with another person takes time, even under the best of circumstances.  Therefore, it’s much more difficult to rebuild trust after that trust has been shattered!

When considering restoring a relationship, the use of common sense is essential to protect ourselves.  June cites Lord of the Rings author J. R. R. Tolkien:

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”

Ms. Hunt likens our not-so-beautiful thoughts toward those who have hurt us to the six-rayed pattern of the star sapphire.  That “asterism” distinguishes the star sapphire from all other gems.  It is second in hardness to diamonds.  June describes how God can create a stunning new asterism in your thinking:

” . . . you are to master your thoughts . . . with the help of the Master Engraver.  When you give Him your rocks of resentment, you allow Him to create a stunning new six-ray pattern. . . . This new pattern will display to all something more marvelous than the asterism atop the esteemed  star sapphire- a reflection of the mind of Christ.”

Today’s question: How has June clarified you understanding of forgiveness vs. reconciliation?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: Reconciliation roadmap”

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Dave Henning


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