Reconciliation is like a party you show up to but end up doing all the work. It’s a beautiful concept but takes incredible humility and patience and pain to admit to your brokenness and invite the other person to forgive you.
And it takes two to tango. It takes both sides wanting to mend the relationship. And this is where it gets tough, as many times one side simply wants justice while the other longs for the trust and affection that once ruled those interactions. But in that desire for justice, we forget our own faults that led that marriage or friendship or family to the edge.
Reconciliation has to begin with humility, considering the other person more significant than yourself. If you start there, then you’re willing to endure more confusion and pain and jabs than you actually deserve because you value the relationship more than your own rights. You long more for the joy of knowing the person than the pride of knowing you’re right.
There’s truly only way one way to be humbled, only one way for true reconciliation: You must first be reconciled with the father who made you. Your broken relationships are a result of a broken relationship with God, and he offers to show you the path of true humility and reconciliation through his son.
Jesus understood the weight of reconciliation and bore it in on the cross. He owned what wasn’t his in order to mend our relationship with God. He humbled himself to dying for people who didn’t even understand what he was doing, and he did it because he loved us too much to let us go. He died to save a relationship we didn’t even know we wanted.
If you want reconciliation, begin with humility. And if you want humility, begin with the cross. It will take work and pain and long nights, but in the end will reward you with a love you never thought possible.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so in him we might become the righteousness of God.” — 2 Cor. 5:21.
Frederick Kingman is pastor of The Prodigal Church.