RECONCILIATION IS AN accounting term that implies a balance between credits and debts with nothing due and nothing owed. Reconciliation with friends or family, for example, occurs when debts can be satisfied—through repayment, retribution or forgiveness. The act of repayment, retribution or forgiveness is the credit given that moves the debt to a zero balance.
If the need for love, respect, significance, and security were not as important to us, let’s say, as water and air, reconciliation would be much easier.
But they are important to us.
In fact, they are critical to our survival, so much so that we will insist on repayment or retribution in order to gain whatever measure of love, respect, significance, and security we have lost. The need for these things is so important to us that the other option—forgiveness—escapes us because it is counterintuitive.
If someone takes something valuable from you, forgiveness without repayment or retribution seems like losing, unless of course, you are the one needing forgiveness.
When you were a child, you may have been forced to forgive others so that you could get on with playing, but if your heart and mind didn’t agree, your words were empty, and you weren’t reconciled in your spirit.
After a lifetime of this behavior, the value of forgiveness could easily be diminished.
The problem, as I see it, is that we need forgiveness and we need to forgive much more than we need repayment and retribution. We have amassed a lifetime of losses, and without forgiveness, those losses are like open items in one very large ledger.
Sometimes it is because of the lack of forgiveness that even when repayment has been made, or retribution has been served, the items remain open.
It may take a shift in your thinking to see the personal power you have forfeited for the sake of winning, or your unwillingness to forgive or be forgiven. But if not, I hope you will see the energy you have lost while waiting for justice.
If you want to change your behaviors today, you will have to do the work to reconcile your past.
If you want to tell me your past is unforgivable, I assure you that you would tell me the same thing a year or ten years from now, but you will do so with the same thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors you possess today.
If you want sustainable results from our work together, you must choose forgiveness.
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.--Excerpts from Ephesians 4:21-32
This would be a good time to transfer the ledger you keep in your mind into your notebook. Make a note of the debts you think impossible to forgive.
Capture the words you may have spoken to declare, “I will never forgive this” or “I can never be forgiven for that”. These are the debts that own you, therefore stealing your personal power—but by your own choice.
Undoubtedly, your thoughts will have something to do with justice. If so, I’ll agree that forgiveness is not fair, but by now you know that life isn’t fair. The good news is that fairness is not a prerequisite, nor is it essential, to a successful life.
What you’re after is peace and harmony, the effects of love, respect, significance, and security. Are you ready to do some work? If so, let’s start at the beginning. Read More...