In life, we are sometimes hurt by those closest to us. We struggle with how to forgive and let go.
It makes it worse when the person that hurt us doesn’t understand why we are hurt or offended.
That happened to me recently.
There was an argument. A misunderstanding.
There was a conversation. A meeting of the minds. A new understanding.
But it takes a while for the feelings to mend. For the rawness to heal.
What brings about forgiveness and reconciliation?
- Decide if you are ready to forgive. Sometimes being angry is easier. Makes us feel more righteous.
- Once you have decided to forgive (and you will), wait for God to open the door for a conversation to take place between you and the person in question.
- While waiting, pray about what happened and be honest about your part in the disagreement.
- When the timing is right, and the conversation takes place, be sure to listen to the other person’s point of view. I tend to do a lot of talking, not as much listening. Especially when I feel I’m right.
- Apologize if you need to. Sometimes before you receive an apology, you need to ask for forgiveness. Disagreements are rarely one-sided.
- Purpose to communicate with each other.
- If you have forgiven each other, reconciliation in the relationship can only be achieved when trust is reestablished. Keep in mind that forgiveness, while difficult, is not nearly as difficult as reconciliation. Reconciliation is a process of rebuilding trust while healing from the hurt.
- Recognize that reconciliation can be halted if there is not a full understanding of what caused the disagreement in the first place. But fullness of understanding comes with the desire to not want to cause any further pain. That’s why it’s important to really listen to each other.
The act of forgiveness and reconciliation when it is someone you love dearly is a complex undertaking, but worth it. Families who understand how to work through this process may have difficult seasons, but the growth and maturity that come from these experiences is well worth it and makes for richer relationships.