Confirming the Reconciliation Decision with God’s Word

let_me_knowContinued from here.

God is never going to tell you to do something (or not do something) that is inconsistent with His Word, so reference the Bible to validate that what you are feeling led to do is consistent with biblical principles.

Person #1 was (and is) regretful and repentant. While she has not taken full responsibility for every single thing she has done, she has taken responsibility for and apologized for some of it. She is contrite and appears to feel guilty for many of her bad choices. Her motivation for apologizing appears to be her guilty conscience seeking relief. Like the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet, Person #1 demonstrates an understanding of her guilt. She has humbled herself without justifying her actions. (She has offered some insights into her behavior, not as excuse but as explanation.) Extending reconciliation to someone who humbles himself and is contrite has a biblical basis, such as the father’s reconciliation with his prodigal son.

Contrast this with Person #2. She would also like to reconcile but has expressed no remorse for her actions. She denies any wrongdoing, offers excuses, and has made it clear that she is open to reconciliation on the terms of ignoring the things she has done. In other words, she wants the benefits of a restored relationship with me without having to take any sort of responsibility for the harm she inflicted. While I have forgiven her for her past actions, I continue to hold her accountable for the harm she inflicted. I have told her that unless and until she takes responsibility for her actions, I will not be in a relationship with her.

The Bible supports this position as well. While Jesus loves and died for all of us, only those who repent enter into a relationship with him:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9

Note that this passage begins with the word if: Jesus forgives us if we confess. Person #2 has not confessed her wrongdoing and continues to justify it. In cases in which someone continues to do something wrong, we are to remove the person from our fellowship:

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?” ~ 1 Cor. 5:1-2

This does not mean that we withhold forgiveness, which heals us, but we do not provide wrongdoers with the benefits of fellowship with us when they take no responsibility for their actions.

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace holding a tin can on a rope and saying, “Let me know.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]