Reconciliation: Pursuing Grace-Drenched Relationships

Three steps toward reconciling broken relationships and conflict

I like a good fight, and I like to be right. I work in the ER and face "sticky situations" on a regular basis. By sticky situations, I mean situations where I am right, the other person is wrong, and for the life of me, I can't get them to see it.

Almost every single conflict in your life will stem out of this same sentiment: You are right (or you think you are). They are wrong (whoever "they" happens to be). And for the life of you, you can't get them to see the light. The result is dissonance, fighting, and anger—the exact opposite of reconciliation. And if you're not careful, that root of anger will grow into a boulder that will take over your life. It's even worse when it comes to your close friends and family. The conflict that can be more easily shrugged off with a stranger has a way of planting itself into your life when it's directed at your family.

And if you're not careful, that root of anger will grow into a boulder that will take over your life.

It's no surprise. After all, the very first family conflict took place in Genesis 3 when Cain, in a fit of anger, murdered his brother, Abel. Families have been striking at one another ever since. I'm not exaggerating: there's Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his brothers, and Moses and Miriam, and on and on and on. And while conflict is far more painful between members of the same family, it's equally destructive outside of your own family.

Then enters Jesus Christ.

In Romans 5:10, Paul sums up the story of Jesus like this: "For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation" (NIV).

Jesus came to reconcile us—first to himself, but also to one another. To reconcile is to win over to friendliness, to bring into agreement or harmony. The amazing grace that God bestowed on humans is this gift of reconciliation. God didn't wait for us to recognize that we were in the wrong. God simply saw our need, loved us, and gave his Son, Jesus Christ, to reconcile us to himself through death on a cross.

It doesn't get much better than that. If you're wondering how Christ's death impacts your daily life, Paul goes on to explain the implications of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5:18: "And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him." If you're looking for harmony, and melody, and beautiful and unbroken praise, it starts right here.

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