NEW BEGINNINGS – FORGIVING OFFENSES / RECONCILING RELATIONSHIPS

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. 2 Corinthians 5:16a

With the coming of a new year,  many people have committed to cut off certain relationships – whether personal, church, work, or social – for various reasons.  To be sure, there are some relationships that should be removed from your life, especially if those relationships keep you from honoring God with your whole being. But before you take out the sharp cutting instruments to sever ties, take a few minutes to examine again the reasons you believe the relationship must be severed.

As ambassadors of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, you are commanded to not only share the Gospel, but to seek and offer reconciliation in relationships. 

Self-examination is in order if you are to achieve godly reconciliation in your fractured relationships.

Ask yourself some important questions:

  • How did the relationship get to this point?

  • How did I contribute to the discord in the relationship?

  • Has my conduct resulted in sin in my life?

  • Has my conduct resulted in sin in the other individual’s life?

  • Have I confessed my sin and sought forgiveness from the Lord?

  • Have I sought forgiveness from the other party for my contribution to the discord?

  • What steps have I earnestly taken toward offering forgiveness and reconciliation?

  • Do I see the individual from a worldly viewpoint, or am I seeing them from God’s perspective?

  • What should I be praying about for the relationship?

  • What am I willing to do to reconcile the relationship?

  • When the relationship has been reconciled, can the former fellowship be restored?

If you are to be reconciled with one another, you must first be reconciled with Christ.  As a new creation in Jesus Christ, you have the eternal presence of the Holy Spirit that allows you to see others from God’s viewpoint instead of your own flesh.  But to be reconciled with others, you have to be willing to release the desire for vengeance, for retaliation, or to blot the person from your life.  

Restoration of the former level of fellowship may not be possible, but seeing the other person with God’s viewpoint means you can regard them either as a brother or sister in the Lord, or as a prospect who needs to hear the message of Heaven and see it demonstrated in your life.  In either case, you must reflect the light of Christ in seeking reconciliation.

It’s a new year! Will you extend the hand of reconciliation?

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