Does forgiveness require reconciliation?

Dr. Grant Mullen Churches and Leadership, I am significant, Live fearlessly, Moods, Relationships, Uncategorized 22 Comments

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Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same

When Kathy teaches on forgiveness at our Live a Transformed Life seminars, she is often asked if reconciliation is required to truly forgive someone.

Is it possible to forgive someone but never want to see them again?

How do you know if you have completely forgiven?

What are the dangers of cheap forgiveness?

How do you rebuild broken trust?

Forgiveness, the gateway to freedomDo you want more information on forgiveness?

Kathy has a one hour DVD, Forgiveness, the gateway to freedom.
At the conclusion you can join her in powerful prayers of forgiveness that can change your life. Click here for more information.

In this video Kathy will answer these questions so you will know how to live a lifestyle of forgiveness.

Just click on the video and feel your chains fall off.

To live a transformed life, you need to walk in forgiveness.

Now I want to hear from you

How has God helped you forgive or reconcile? Just leave your comments in the box below.

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I’ll talk to you next week,

Grant

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Comments 22

  1. This is really neat at my church the senior Pastor has been preaching on the topic of forgiveness for the last 3 weeks.

  2. Thank you for addressing this topic that represents so much confusion. My opinion is that forgiveness is an amazing gift from God and works in a way only God could orchestrate. The incredible thing to me about forgiveness is that it applies across the board from mispoken words in a loving relationship to the most inhumane autrocities of man to man. What a merciful and loving God we have! The most common problem is to get people to detach all kinds of misunderstandings from their preconceived notions of forgiveness, and what they believe it means to their relationships following. I believe it is only after forgiveness that we can clearly hear God’s heart instruct the next step in any relationsip (if He intends that it continue at all).
    We recently did a conference at our church by an organization that focuses on reconsiliation. There was some excellent teaching. However, it increased the level of confusion on Forgiveness vs. Reconsiliation. Well meaning Christians are now questioning their own responsibility to attempt reconsiliation in risky situations. Please pray for us as we attempt to address this situation. Thank you for your ministry.
    Terry Pausch

  3. Does this pertain to spouse’s too? It seems that reconciliation between spouses whether you want to continue with the relationship or not should be the thing that we seek and ask God for even after forgiveness. What do you think about this area of unforgiveness, forgiveness and reconciliatin when it pertains to the marital relationship? Thanks.

  4. That is a very good question Tammy. In my view, forgiveness with reconciliation in marriage is always the goal. We want to honour our covenants before God. However I think that if a marriage situation is abusive it is not wise to remain in that place. So with much prayer and wise counsel, hard decisions about not reconciling might have to be made.

  5. It just hit me that reconciliation, of course being 2-sided, would require that the other individual would want to be in a relationship again, and although it hurts for the sake of children involved , that it may not be possible, and I do not have to take responsibility for someone else’s choices. My life is so much simpler now and I have time for the relationships that are contributing to life, as opposed to bondage. However, it is hard to see children affected as they just want to be part of a healthy and happy family. What to do when some of the same expressions are being seen in the speech and behaviour of a 10 year old who loves both parties? Thank you for your interactive helpful site. Sometimes it is therapeutic just to talk dialogue and discover that I am actually on track after all 🙂

  6. What an excellent message Kathy. In my own life I was deeply hurt by a girl I had feelings for and really cared about nearly 10 years ago. She went to my old Church in Napier and moved to Auckland a year before I did. I wrote a letter to her to tell her how I felt. Unfortunatly she took it the wrong way and she caused a lot of hurt and pain in my life. She sent me a text message to say she never wanted anything to do with me ever again.

    Me and her used to be really great close friends but after this incident we because strangers.

    I had a meeting with her with my old Church pastors at the end of 2004. They said that the purpose of the meeting was resolution which I felt was wrong. I felt that the purpose of the meeting should of been for reconciliation. The girl said she had moved on with her life and didn’t have time for me in her life. To be honest I felt like she had unforgiveness towards me and running away from the issue.

    After this meeting I drove in my car and cried for a long time. It was very very upsetting and very painful for me. I thought I had lost her forvever and never see her again.

    In 2007 she came to my Church and I happened to see her there. I talked with her and we agreed to put the past behind us. I thought things would get better between me and her but that was not to be. A few months later she told me she was engaged. I remember the night she told me. I drove in my car after that and felt numb. It was the most horrible feeling I have felt in my life.

    The next night someone who used to be a friend of mine called me up and threatned me and told me not to speak to her. I went to Church on that Sunday and actually saw her. She said hi tgo me and I didn’t answer back and completly ignored her because of how I was feeling and being threatned. I felt really bad for a long time about this. It was the last time I saw her.

    Through 2008 to 2010 I was very very depressed about her getting married and losing her forever and never seeing her again, In mid 2009 her husband sends me a message on facebook calling me stupid and not to contact his wife. I sent him a message back saying how sorry I was and asked if she could forgive me for what I’ve done. I haven’t had any threats or nasty emails since then.

    I did a course called Cleansing Stream in 2010 and the retreat really helped to set me free from the hurt and pain in my heart.

    Some days I do feel really sad about what happened. This girl was the girl of my dreams. We used to be great friends and get on very well and I really wanted to marry her. I just feel like there is a big hole in my heart. I miss the friendship I use to have with her and not having her in my life. How could things go from being really good to being really bad?

    People from my old Church have also hurt and rejected me and don’t want to know me but they are all friends with her. I found this out on facebook, even the pastors from my old Church are friends with her. I feel that they are all on her side and I have been made out to be a bad person who will never amount to anything or have a great future for my life. I think many from the Church are still stuck in the worldly ways of thinking rather than having their mind renewed be be like Christ. I know quite a number of people who have left that Church.

    They just wish I would get over what happned to me. They’ve moved on, she’s moved on and in their eyes it is no longer an issue. YEAH RIGHT.

    I wish reconciliation was possible and that I could of had a future with the girl I knew, not the horrible person she became towards me but I know it will never happen and all I could do was to forgive her and forgive the people from my old Church who hurt me and caused pain in my life and then leaving it all behind and moving forward with my life. It’s just really hard to do. I just have to maintain an attitude of forgiveness towards them but that doesn’t mean I have to give them free access back into my life and allow them to hurt me and trample all over me again.

    Some days I just feel sad about the whole outcome of this situation.

  7. Forgivness unresevably is most important, however reconconciliation sometimes may not be always possible. you may never be able to meet the person you forave or see them to ask for you to be forgiven. But the most important thing is to forgive, forgive forgive. Never carry unforgiveness around with you.

  8. THANK YOU KATHY ! DISTINGUISHING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION IS IMPORTANT . AS YOU STATED , ‘ FORGIVENESS IS BETWEEN YOU AND GOD .
    RECONCILIATION IS BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE OR MORE AND, IS USUALLY MORE TIME AND EFFORT CONSUMING. IT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY TO FORGIVE FOR WHAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE DONE TO US BUT WHEN I REMEMBER WHAT CHRIST DID FOR ME ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY, THEN I PERCEIVE WITH A BETTER VIEW OF WHY FORGIVENESS IS SO IMPORTANT . IF I PRAY AND ASK FOR INSIGHT INTO THE INDIVIDUAL’S ACTIONS OR WORDS AGAINST ME ; I FEEL THE HOLY SPIRIT SHOWS ME SOMETHING THAT IS CAUSING THAT INDIVIDUAL GREAT PAIN OR LOSS IN THEIR LIVES . I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE IN PAIN FROM REJECTION OR WHATEVER LOSS THEY HAVE FELT IN THEIR LIVES TEND TO LASH OUT AT OTHERS AND TO HURT THEM IN WHATEVER MANNER OR FASHION THEY DESIRE . Larry Lewis

  9. I was hurt very much by a friend who is very important in my life. I have tried over and over to forgive. I’ve told the Lord that I am tired of the hurt and just want to give it all to Him. But my residual feelings keep coming up. My friend doesn’t want to talk about it. He refuses to see that he did anything wrong; and I have to see him on a regular basis… at least twice per week, sometimes more. I feel like I’m caught in a bad place. What should I do? How do I get him to see he’s hurt me and have some compassion?

  10. I have a verse for you concerning forgiveness, that I’d like you to address. Luke 17:3 …IF they repent, forgive. So what if they don’t repent, does this mean we don’t have to forgive? Maybe we are missing something here.

  11. Hi Kathy and Grant – Glasgow calling thank you so much for teaching on this – I loved the part “forgiveness is between you and God” love the site keep up the good work. Come back soon

  12. Having been verbally abused by my mother, forgiveness has been a struggle. Her remarks are short and cunning. Fortunately, God saw to it that we haven’t lived in the same city for 27 years. My husband and I used to travel to visit and I traveled to where they live on business and would stay with them. I came to a place where I started setting boundaries. She was not happy with that, but I need to protect myself from further abuse and deepening the hurt by keeping my distance. I believe I need to honour my parents, so my primary contact is by phone, and calls are brief. Humanly speaking, reconciliation doesn’t seem a possibility. Thank you for addressing this topic. Heather

  13. Thank you so much for your very helpful teaching,Kathy. Reconciling painful feelings after choosing prayerfully to forgive someone has become much easier for me recently. Two things were suggested- that we also ask God to forgive the offence and wipe it from that person’s slate. I know he/she must ask Him, but somehow doing it has erased my pain very quickly- and try to find something about that person’s life that you can feel compassion for and briefly pray into it. It sounds hard, but in trying it, it seemed to confirm that I actually had forgiven and could move on freely.

  14. Your answer to the question: Does forgiveness require reconciliation? Is most helpful, particularly from the Bible’s viewpoint.

    As you rightly point out, Kathy, the Bible instructs humanity to ‘love your enemy’, but the Bible does not say anything about needing to (particularly prematurely) reconcile. For example, if a friend has compromised confidences, why would you rush to restore the relationship before giving the power of the Holy Spirit time to heal and transform!

    Jesus died on the cross – He paid the debt for our sins to reconcile us to God!

  15. Your answer to the question: Does forgiveness require reconciliation? Is most helpful, particularly from the Bible’s viewpoint.

    As you rightly point out, Kathy, the Bible instructs humanity to ‘love your enemy’, but the Bible does not say anything about needing to (particularly prematurely) reconcile. For example, if a friend has compromised confidences, why would you rush to restore the relationship before giving the power of the Holy Spirit a chance to heal and transform!

    Jesus died on the cross – He paid the debt for our sins to reconcile us to God!

  16. Some people never want reconciliation. They hold others at a distance and say they have moved on and you are no longer a part of their life. I think this is an excuse for not forgiving the other person just as Christ has forgiven us. I know in my situation reconciliation never happened and I had to forgive and let go as sad, hard and as painful as it was for me.

  17. The word for today – Thursday 6th September 2012

    Seek reconciliation

    ‘…Go and be reconciled…’ Matthew 5:24 NIV

    Sometimes the only way to get over your hurt feelings is to seek reconciliation. And if you are willing, God will help you do it. Dinah Craik wrote: ‘Oh…the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.’

    A college professor who was teaching on the high cost of unforgiveness asked each of her students to bring a sack of potatoes to class. For each person they refused to forgive, they had to select a potato and write the date on it beside that person’s name. Then for a month, without fail, they had to carry that sack of potatoes with them everywhere they went. After lugging those sacks around for a while each student began to recognise how much weight they were carrying; the amount of energy it took to focus on their bag; and that they had to be careful not to leave it in the wrong place. Eventually, as the potatoes began to rot and stink, they realised that getting rid of them was the only smart thing to do.

    Jesus said, ‘…If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not…’ (John 20:23 NIV). What happens to them? Good question! How would you like God to forgive you in the same way you forgive others? If that thought makes you uncomfortable, do something about it!

  18. What if the other person never wants reconciliation. Do you hold onto your hurt feelings forever? What are your thoughts on this subject.

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