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Friday, March 18, 2011

Question of the Week:
What is Biblical Reconciliation?

by Anne Lang Bundy

Sculpted by Josefina de Vasconcellos
(image source:

What is the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation, (in the sense of being available for further abuse)?
~ Anonymous

Last week's post provided some contrasts from the Bible about forgiveness, separation and accountability. This week offers some examples of how enmity, forgiveness and reconciliation might play out.

Three important notes in preface:

• if a Christian experiences enmity, relationship with Christ will bring the desire to eliminate it;

• the below examples of forgiveness and reconciliation are biblical ideals toward which God's Holy Spirit enables us to work, whether or not we reach them;

• the person who has been wronged should not only be ready to forgive and reconcile, but also ask God if there is anything for which he or she should repent and ask forgiveness.

"Love your enemies,
bless those who curse you,
do good to those who hate you,
and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;
for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good,
and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?
Do not even the [heathen] do the same?"
~ Jesus (Matthew 5:44-46)


You hurt me and I hope you suffer for it.

I want to hurt you back, whether I do it openly or secretly, with or without restraint.

I want you out of my life. Your death wouldn't bother me. Killing you myself isn't out of the question.


If I hate you, it will hurt me more than it will hurt you, so I release my enmity. God's forgiveness and love enable me to forgive and love you, and I choose to do so.

I am willing to hold you accountable for your wrongdoing with the hope that your repentance will enable full reconciliation between you and God, between you and me.

I ask God to do good things for you. I seek opportunity to be an agent of His blessing. I wait for God to heal the injury you have done to me. I hope God will move you to become an agent of that healing by your right response to Him, expressed to me.


Whether you and I associate peaceably or have no contact, your lack of repentance has prevented reconciliation between us. But my forgiveness prevents enmity toward you—even if circumstances prevent me from escaping further injury. Though I desire reconciliation with you, I instead reconcile myself to knowing I have done as much as I can. I am at peace.

You have repented—you have acknowledged your wrong against me, you have expressed remorse and apology, and you may have reconciled yourself to God through Jesus. Forgiveness and repentance enables you and I to experience reconciliation. But until your cooperation with God enables you to overcome the behavior which led you to hurt me, we cannot share the level of relationship I still hope for, which I pray God brings to pass. I am at peace.

Your thorough repentance and my thorough forgiveness have enabled our reconciliation to God and to each other. We are brother(s) and sister(s) through Jesus Christ and are free to enjoy that relationship in love. I am at peace.

Now all things are of God,
who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ,
and has given us the ministry of reconciliation ...
and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NKJV)
Photo credit: Ed Gardener,

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This post originally appeared at Bullets & Butterflies. To see ongoing dialogue in comments posted there click here.

What questions do you have about Christianity or the Bible? You're invited to leave them in the comments below (anonymous questions welcome), or email buildingHisbody [plus] @

© 2011 Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Afsoon ~

    I am blessed to meet you and visit your blog. I enjoyed the quotes and look forward to seeing more of them.


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