+ Preparing for the Prince of Peace The process of reconciliation
+ Reconciliation begins with - - - - - Forgiveness One essential step in forgiveness is to develop empathy Empathy is – Seeing the world through the eyes of the other person. Recall the hurt Empathize with the one who hurt you The need for true humility A choice to forgive Maintaining forgiveness
+ A picture of possible choices in the process of reconciliation. Neither forgiveness nor reconciliation Reconciliation without forgiveness Forgiveness without reconciliation Reconciliation and forgiveness
+ Kendall on failure to forgive – what happens when we don’t forgive? 1. Salvation is unconditional; fellowship with the Father is conditional. 2. Justification before God is unconditional; the anointing of the Spirit is conditional. 3. Our status in the family of God is unconditional; our intimacy with Christ is conditional 4. We do not have the true freedom that God desires for his children.
+ Some Characteristics of a spirit of unforgiveness. Resentment that continues to simmer within. Rumination about the hurt or abuse A desire to get justice in some way A real desire to make the person pay for their crimes against you. Seeking revenge by hurting the other person’s reputation Matthew 6:15 – “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
+ The importance of not inflating the actual hurt – by talking to others Is it really necessary for me to say this? Will this encourage the listener? Will it serve to build that person up in their own character? Will it reflect our sense of the dignity of that person? The “gift” of criticism is not clearly listed in the scripture.
+ The approach to reconciliation The scriptural teaching on reconciliation is central Matthew 5:24 –”If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that you brother has something against you, leave you gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift.”
+ The Ministry of Reconciliation 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
+ Personal preparation for reconciliation It is obvious that we can only reconcile to others when we ourselves have experienced our reconciliation to God through faith in Jesus Christ. Several things begin to take place when we become motivated to reconcile Our attitude toward others is characterized by genuine concern for them. Our spirits are humbled in recognition that we too are broken and sinful persons We acknowledge before God that we are forgiving toward those who have hurt us. We are willing to be obedient to do what God calls us to do.
+ The meaning of TOTAL FORGIVENESS Matthew 6:15 – “If you do not forgive men their sins, you Father will not forgive your sins.” Forgiving is like reconciliation not optional for the obedient Christian. A willingness to forgive reflects a thankful heart for God’s grace in forgiving us. We participate in God’s redemptive purpose in the world. Total forgiveness is a lifestyle not an event.
+ TOTAL FORGIVENESS means: We are willing and able to face our own faults first. When we are hurt the emphasis is often on the pain that another has caused us. Pain is easily remembered. We are learning to depend upon God for the inner strength required to be a forgiving person. Kendall says: “Forgiveness is not total forgiveness until we bless our enemies – and pray for them to be blessed.”
+ Steps in totally forgiving others. (Kendall) 1. Make the deliberate and irrevocable choice not to tell anyone what they did. 2. If you are around them, be pleasant to them. 3. If there is a conversation, say that which would set them free from guilt. 4. Be willing to let them feel good about themselves. 5. Protect them from their greatest fear. (the sharing of the secret of what they have done). 6. Keep on forgiving them today, tomorrow, and - - - 7. Pray for them regularly - - - -
+ For the RECORD! I Corinthians 13: Love keeps no record of wrongs! We destroy the easily kept record of our own rights. We remind ourselves often about God’s willingness to forgive our sins…. The statement of reconciliation – “God has put away all of your sins.” (The importance of the confessional – ‘The rite of reconciliation’.
+ Reconciliation step one – Conflict Resolution To begin to work on reconciliation it is essential to be able to resolve the conflict that led to the breakdown of relationship Old patterns of responding usually are ineffective and new ways of responding need to be undertaken. The capacity to acknowledge the desire for resolution of the conflict is essential in order to begin the process. Remember that for the Christian reconciliation is a mandate not just a possibility. What are the limitations of reconciliation?
Relationships in Perspective Good start… Promises, vows Bilateral, conditional Yet… in time may become a yoke Personal needs disregarded Life-space impinged upon Interpersonal differences appear Issues become salient
The Breakdown in Intimacy The entrance of sin The entrance of sin The rupture of fellowship The rupture of fellowship Guilt and shame Guilt and shame Anxiety: In the open Anxiety: In the open Broken dialogue Broken dialogue The need for redemption The need for redemption
Conflict Degree of Conflict Consequences Distancing Manipulative patterns Struggles for control Diminished zest, pleasure Anger, hurt, pain, dread
Assess the Potential for Resolution Love: Basic imitation of God ’ s ways Dispositional stance to work Willingness to demonstrate flexibility Capacity to define the issues Insight into the problems Willingness to change Clear communication Ability to bargain
Assess Previous Attempts at Resolution What has been done in the past? Are the issues repetitive? If so, are the means employed the same? Do the parties involved demonstrate some learning capacity, as to profit from insight gathered by recounting the ways in which things were handled? Do the parties involved demonstrate alternative ways, or are they stuck in unproductive response patterns? Do they demonstrate an attitude of repentance and evidence a true desire for reconciliation?
Faulty Resolution Patterns Giving in without processing False humility Passive aggressive patterns Pretending, faking Adopting a martyr stance Playing games
Faulty Resolution Patterns Trying to win at any cost Over-spiritualizing Misdirected, mistaken sincerity Denial of pathology, blaming demons, environment Purposive slanting of meaning A party manipulates/takes advantage of the spiritual stance of the other
Bilateral The Basics: The Old Covenant as a Paradigm Conditional Inflexible: Stones Retaliatory Holy, good, perfect... Inoperative due to human failure, weakness
Resolution Patterns for Fair Fighting Identify the issue Set appropriate times Select a proper place Define a starting point Keep on target Be willing to work with a mediator or peacemaker
Resolution Patterns for Fair Fighting No punching after the bell sounded No third parties allowed in coalition with one party to knock down the other No other weapons than words allowed No unfair utilization of the past allowed If the issue has been previously confessed, properly worked upon and forgiven/resolved
+ Establishing a Quid Pro Quo Assess needs, expressed in complaints Choose from excesses and deficits target requests Prioritize the translated requests Interchange requests through the counselor- mediator Offer privileges, equivalents to the requests made by the other person (reframing and rendering in + terms) Establish a bilateral, conditional contract, in which both win and no one loses Establish a definite period: One week, and assess
+ Establishing a Quid Pro Quo After a week, assess the progress Pinpoint what was difficult to enact, what was easier Correct levels, intensity, frequency, etc. and restate Compose other clauses, better terms, refine aims Help the parties to redefine their terms, to adjust their expectations, as you proceed toward a second week Assess in what manner and to what extent the needs of each party are being fulfilled, probe more in depth Follow the track… adjust, refine the process/feedback
Asess the relationship Gather information about their interactions/complaints Decide to take an initiative Move in the desirable direction Evaluate the decisions taken Continue along the road taken Decide to change direction Re-evaluate ExcessesDéficitsAssets
The Terms of a New Covenant Unilateral Unconditional Proactive Grace and mercy Forgiveness and forgetfulness Intrinsic to the heart and mind Truth in love, empowering by Spirit Positive relationship promoting
That Day Chronos This Day Stewardship of Relations: Accountability
In Summary and conclusion: Forgiveness and reconciliation that lead to restoration. Significant and meaningful change always begins with a forgiving spirit. Forgiveness must be total for there to be freedom to accomplish what God intends for the relationship Reconciliation is a process of redemptive work between two people or groups. Both parties must be ready and willing to participate Learning to resolve conflict is the process by which old patterns of behavior are set aside and new patterns learned. Restoration of relationships is the way of love – God’s love that becomes an incarnational experience. Holiness begins with interpersonal humility, characterized by grace and mercy.