I wanted to share something I believe the Lord has shown me for 2020. I woke up super early on the morning of December 19th, picked up a pen, and these words just began to flow. Since then, this theme of reconciliation has not left me. This morning, I felt it was time to release it. I believe 2020 will be a year where we experience an unexpected level of grace for reconciliation. There’s another word I keep hearing that in a way, is tied to this same concept, and that word is “wonder”. Connect the two, and we have a picture of acts of reconciliation that are literally going to fill us with and cause us to wonder. Here’s what else I wrote that morning:
(I typically edit content to make sure it flows as the reader reads it. I’m not going to do that with this post. I’m going to share it with you as it was given to me, because, as you will see, I felt as though I was almost having a conversation with someone. I pray this lands on the ears and hearts of the one(s) it is intended for.)
Reconciled: to change; exchange; re-establish; restore relationships; make things right; remove enmity (a feeling of hostility, ill will, animosity, antagonism). It describes the reestablishing of a proper, loving interpersonal relationship which has been broken or disrupted.
We either believe in reconciliation or we don’t.
We will either embrace it, or we will resist it.
We will either lay aside our reasons for offense, and present ourselves as an instrument of reconciliation, or we will harbor and nurture and feed our resentment, CLOSING ourselves off, and perpetuating bitterness and division.
Ambassadors of reconciliation cause unity;
Ambassadors of resentment promote division.
Reconciliation does not mean everything is perfect. But it does mean that even knowing what we know, we choose to elevate and prioritize the Kingdom value of relationship above anything else.
The number 1 reason we resist reconciliation is because we are afraid. One cannot simply forget experiences. But we can choose that pain and bitterness is not going to dictate, shame, and influence our future.
Undealt with pain and bitterness will cause us to rearrange our value system. (Whether we are aware of doing so or not.) It will cause us to reprioritize what is of most importance to us. And if we don’t deal with our pain, we will reorder our lives to the level of our pain.
We come to Christ, and our lives are so full of joy and life. We are literally brought into relationship and right standing with God through an act of Jesus reconciling us to the Father. But then life happens, and we get hurt, or we take a few wrong turns. Sometimes, we strike back and before you know it, we start walking with a limp. When that happens, self-protection becomes our highest value. Self-preservation becomes more important than reconciling. We accommodate our pain and we start to say things like, “Never again…”
What we were meant to have dominion over, we now live in reaction to.
There is a cycle to the process of reconciliation. It starts with life, typically moves on to experience death (due to pain or wounds), but then, it there’s a time for resurrection. It’s the same process, if you will, Jesus went through in reconciling us to the Father.
As painful as those circumstances were, there will come a day when we will be faced with the option to extend a hand of fellowship, sometimes, to the very people who hurt us the most. Moses did, Joseph did, David did…I could go on.
We have a choice in that moment. What is going to be our highest value?
We cannot authentically reconcile people to God while not being reconciled to others. 1 John 4:19-21, “If anyone says, I love God, and hates (works against, resists, detests) his brother, then he is a liar…” Meaning, there’s no authenticity there; instead, there’s duplicity.
Instead, we love because He first loved us.
What often makes this so hard is that self-protection masks itself as wisdom, but it’s actually fear.
Reconciliation does not mean that we step into the same, unhealthy cycles as before. We don’t step into the old. That’s foolishness, that’s, well, stupid. Proverbs 26:11 says, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.” Instead, reconciliation means that we take the old, and through the redemptive ways of the Kingdom, we pull it into the new. We must be able to see and judge clearly what went wrong, perhaps even admit when and how we contributed to it, but then take the values and ways of the Kingdom, set them as the new governing rule over those situations and relationships, and “restore the broken places, the ruins”. It relocates what was and places it, repositions it, on a new course. It’s what God does for us, too.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away (remember the cycle of reconciliation: life; death – passing away – but then comes resurrection.) Behold, all things have become new. Now, all things are of God….
Reconciliation means you’re not keeping score anymore. We wipe the slate clean, just as Jesus did for us. We have to take on the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. And though our sins be as scarlet…though the “sins” against us may have caused a stain, a mark on our hearts. Though the wounds others inflicted may have cut deep….they shall be white as snow. And as far as we are concerned…it’s as though it never happened.
Reconciliation restores to a position of divine favor.
And with that, I laid my pen down and went back to sleep. I know this was a different kind of post, but I believe very strongly it was meant to be shared, in the form in which I received it. I do feel the responsibility to qualify something, and say that there is a different level of wisdom and discretion that is needed when it comes to any type of abusive relationship. That’s not at all what this post is about. Reconciliation does not mean we continue to place ourselves or subject ourselves to environments or relationships where we will be continually mistreated. God would not have us do that.
But I do feel strongly that this is mean for some who have built up a strong wall, and said “Never again.” That’s where the word “wonder” comes in. If we will make ourselves willing vessels of reconciliation, if we will hold to it as a governing Kingdom principle, then we are going to see Him lead us back to relationships and/or environments we never thought would be…mended, re-established, restored (going back to our definition of reconciliation). But this time, they will be “proper”, and He is going to make things right.