I’m a huge fan of Henry Blackaby. I still follow the wisdom in his book “Experiencing God.” If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. So, it’s because of the Spirit in me, the Word, and the words of brothers and sisters, that I share something with you. We need to Forgive – Reconcile – Restore.
I think we easily understand forgiveness. It’s a topic often taught from the pulpit. We know and experience forgiveness because of our personal relationship with Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit that lives in us. From what I observe, I believe we forgive often. I also believe we know that forgiveness alone is incomplete.
What about reconciliation? I suspect reconciliation happens less often. I just read the article “How to Forgive Someone and Set a Boundary,” by Dr. Henry Cloud. Take a moment to read it. Concerning reconciliation, Dr. Cloud says “It occurs when the other person apologizes and accepts forgiveness. It takes two to reconcile.” Obviously, we cannot make someone reconcile with us. However, we can examine our own heart and consider how open we are to reconciliation. We can ask Christ, through the Holy Spirit, to bring relationships to mind where we need to apologize and accept forgiveness. This step is much more difficult than forgiveness. Why? It takes two. Oh no, not that, right? If you’re like me, this step is humbling, and thus something I would like to avoid. But then, I remember a question I ask myself often. Am I a disciple of Christ, or not.
What about restoration? Dr. Cloud uses the word trust. I think they mean the same here. What will the relationship look like going forward? Recently, I had coffee with a friend. He’s someone I respect and look forward to meeting with as often as we can schedule. Restoration was obviously on his mind. We discussed it for most of our time together. He caused me to examine my role in restoring. He told me about an encounter he had with a person who asked him about Clay. Well, my friend challenged the person to not only forgive, but to now look for how to restore Clay. Of course, as he’s telling me this, I’m thinking how in the world can this ever happen. Frankly, I wonder if even reconciliation could happen in this broken relationship. Without it, I doubt restoration or trust will occur. I was wrong to think this way. I don’t control the other person or people. I’m responsible for what Christ teaches me. The same is true to you too.
What is Christ teaching us through all this? When I look over the last couple of years, I believe He saying we not only have to forgive, but we have to reconcile with brothers and sisters whenever possible, and accept that we may have done something wrong. He’s teaching us that we have to want to restore relationships. It’s hard and sometimes personally painful. Isn’t it easier to just let the relationship go by the wayside? Yes, but we all know this isn’t what Christ wants. Consider His example. Through Christ we are forgiven. When we accept this forgiveness and apologize, we are reconciled with Him. Because of this reconciliation, we are restored to God through Christ. We trust God.
Joe Robideaux is our new Teaching Pastor. God is Good! I’m incredibly excited for FCC. As we continue to move forward, I challenge myself and you to be looking and expecting to see people that we have to reach out to. We cannot ignore that things happened between us. We need to move on, but as Joe taught us in 1 Peter, we need to trust God and do good.
What do you think?
Published on August 13, 2017 @ 10:29 AM AKDT
Thank you for this, Richard. <3 Restoration of the Body of Christ is God's best for us. It's His heart that we lean into Him to help us forgive, reconcile, and restore any and all relationships that need restoring in the Church. For we are One in Christ and there are to be no divisions among us. "I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:23 <3
Posted on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 @ 11:44 AM CST
I attended a service at Faith Christian for the first time last Sunday and was very blessed by the message from the student Pastor at Changepoint. I honestly don't know what all happened with the previous pastor but am impressed by the biblically based teaching I have seen so far. I am looking forward to the new teaching pastor arriving and getting to know people through this period of transition.
Posted on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 1:11 AM CST