Raise your hand if you have used forgiveness and reconciliation synonymously in a sentence, or more importantly, in relationships? Spoiler alert: they are not the same.
First grade teacher, Becca Elizabeth Bowen, explains why knowing the difference between the two words is life-changing in a video from her YouTube channel rooted in studying and understanding Scripture, FarAwayDistance.
Conflicts are inevitable in relationships, and therefore, forgiveness and reconciliation will be necessary at some point in life for all people. While forgiveness is essential to heal from relational wounds, reconciliation is not always a healthy choice.
Although it’s a tough pill to swallow, no matter the situation, forgiveness always takes just one person choosing to move forward with God, even if the other party never apologizes. On the flip side, reconciliation takes two or more people choosing to start fresh and reflect Christ to one another.
Bowen shares glimpses of her own life when she needed to forgive someone who hurt her, but it was not wise to reconcile or talk face to face with this person.
However, Bowen shares a warning that when seeking to reconcile, the other person may not reciprocate, but “if they don’t reconcile, it’s not your fault,” she said.
Pride will try to jump in and cause a barrier between an individual and the freedom of forgiveness or reconciliation but acting upon the courage to do either is worth letting pride fall as bitterness is released.
Because the enemy loves nothing more than to cause division, especially between believers, Bowen also reminds viewers that “when two people reconcile in a relationship, there’s something beautiful that happens…something happens in the heavenly realms.”
The decision whether or not to reconcile should not be taken lightly, and Bowen urges viewers to seek advice from trusted people, and most definitely go to God for wisdom because He will always give it to those who ask for it.