Daily Archives: September 6, 2007

At Least As Good As Before

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At Least As Good As Before 

Being reconciled does not mean that the person who offended you must now become your closest friend. What it means is that your relationship will be at least as good as it was before the offense occurred. Once that happens, an even better relationship may develop. As God helps you and the other person work through your differences, you may discover a growing respect and appreciation for each other. Moreover, you may uncover common interests and goals that will add a deeper and richer dimension to your friendship.

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 219

 

Food for Thought

When a relationship has been seriously damaged because one person violated another’s trust (as in an extramarital affair) or deeply hurt the other person (as in a public insult), how can that relationship be made “at least as good as it was before”?

The first step is to note that biblical reconciliation is not an effort by both parties to “make things exactly as they were before”. Clearly, things can never be the same again. However, for Christians, while the relationship will indeed be different on the other side of the offense, it can, by God’s grace, be “at least as good”–if not better.

While the repentance of the offending party is key in the reconciliation process, much of the “difference that makes better” does not come from the offending party’s repentance at all; in fact, it cannot. To look to the offending party for the fullness of reconciliation can only lead to grossly failed expectations at best and idolatry at worst (as we look for a person to do something that only God can do). Arguably, the most important move in reconciliation is when the offended party moves more deeply toward God and the cross of Christ.

When we, as offended parties, move toward the cross, our view of ourselves changes. Instead of seeing ourselves primarily as offended parties, we come to see ourselves as ones who have offended infinitely but been forgiven infinitely. Out of this identity, we find the resources to imitate God by offering rich and lavish forgiveness to those whose repentance (like ours to God) is weak, feeble, and woefully inadequate.

*This has been sitting in draft for a while, but when I re-read it today I was instantly reminded of a public hurt my family received a couple weekends ago.

My reaction is one of ‘protection’. For my feelings, for my familys feelings, for future hurts to be avoided. {my son may never make a pie again}

Another reaction is hurt. I assumed these people were my friends, and if they were why did they do this?

Another reaction; I’m just being way too sensitive, they were just joking, no harm, no foul.

But it was foul and harm was done.

1 person apologized and I told them thank you for that but I really really don’t want to talk about right yet.

They then asked how are we going to treat each other or move on from this, I just said it was cool and we will just move on.

One reaction I had,which was different than times before was…

I usually would figure out how to handle being offended. This time I asked God how I should react.

I told Him I really didn’t know how to handle this and He needed to tell me what to do.

I knew I couldn’t not talk about it, but every time I tried to talk about it, I cried.

I must not grow a hard heart towards the persons responsible and teach my son also.

My fleshly reaction is to stay away from them and not give them any more material to use against me.  To talk trash about them and try to figure out why they did this to poor old me and focus on my family being a victim, to hold onto that so-called [self] righteous anger.

[just to read that sentence makes me exhausted, I dont know how I used to live that out day to day]

But Jesus says to forgive, 70 times 7, just as He has done for me, when I have done stupid things in my life. 

Do I thank my God enough for forgiving me when I do stupid stuff? {far worse than this silly incidence}

No.

 I guess by forgiving others we give thanks to God.

Blessings, Kristina

Mr 11:25 – [In Context|Read Chapter|Original Greek] “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. Mr 11:26 – [“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”] Lu 11:4 – ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’ ” Lu 17:3 – “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. Lu 17:4 – “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” 2Co 2:7 -so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort {him,} otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 2Co 2:10 – But one whom you forgive anything, I {forgive} also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, {I did it} for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 1Jo 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Mt 18:35 – “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how R676 often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven R677 times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy R678 times seven.

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