The road to reconciliation

February 2023 Magazine

On the Stafford to Eccleshall road there is an unfinished side road about 100 meters long. The project was started, but it did not get very far.  Is this a picture of good intentions incomplete to connect with someone we have fallen out with?

The pain of relationships having gone sour is all too common. What does it take to be reconciled? Many are quick to protest their innocence, but slow to “fess up” their part.

Jesus said: “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.  Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you” (Luke 17v3-6). Forgiveness requires faith in God i.e., to trust in the perfect Judge who alone can put all wrongs right.

Jesus teaches us to pray about forgiving others: ‘Forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors’ (Matthew 6v12). God’s forgiveness is to be reproduced in our own lives. If we recognise the enormity of our debt to God that He willingly forgives, then we will have the humility to forgive others. If we hold onto the hurt, we will find that our hearts harden. We are not to nurse the hurt but give it to God. This is not easy to do, as faith is not a soft option, but is essential to forgiving.

The New Testament teaches about reconciliation: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3v13).

God demonstrated the extent of His love for us by personally paying the price so that we may be forgiven. When Christ died, He was “making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1v20). It was only through Jesus’ death for us, that we can enter the joy of being reconciled to God. Knowing God’s forgiveness changes our hearts.

Are you making progress with your road building towards others? This Lent let’s refocus on Jesus Christ through whom we have reconciliation with God. 

                                              Paul Kingman