Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


Investing in Reconciliation

posted by Cheryl Petersen

The universe is a heady mixture of relationships. Not only are the stars, moon, and earth connected by an invisible force, but people are also constantly dealing with relationships. Our personalities and expectations determine the quality of our relationships however there is an invisible force that can override those personalities and maintain rewarding relationships whether in marriage, in church, or at our job. The force is apparent when we invest in reconciliation.

Reconciliation has a history. The Old Testament contains a record of priests killing animals and throwing blood on the walls to reconcile for sins. Fortunately, humankind has evolved out of that tradition. We can better relate to the New Testament thought on reconciliation. We read in II Corinthians, “From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view…if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come…All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ.” (II Cor. 5:16-18, NIV)

The Greek word for “reconciled” is katallagē, defined in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance as: exchange (fig. adjustment), restoration to (the divine) favor, atonement, reconciliation (-ing).  To invest in reconciliation is to act on the fact that Christly characteristics and expectations reconcile us to God, Love, Truth. In other words, God can’t be reconciled to the personalities and expectations of human beings. God is not of the human but of the divine and the human is exchanged for the divine, not vice versa.

An astonishing example of investing in reconciliation was given in the late 1990’s when the people of South Africa made a great effort to transcend the divisions and strife generated during the period of apartheid. Meeting the demand for justice and unity, former enemies came together but with the emphasis to uncover truth, rather than prosecute individuals for past crimes. Records from victims and perpetrators have been cataloged, new laws have been established, and humanity witnessed a semblance of reconciliation.

If we have rocky, rotten, or evaporating relationships, there is a good chance that truth is being covered up and even buried. The untruths must be exposed because many human beings don’t want to be reconciled to lies. To hide or ignore untruths is a fake reconciliation. But, we can be honest and ever uniting.

For example, my husband and I still get on one another’s nerves. Yes, after thirty years. But we know to give one another space and invest in reconciliation. That sounds contradictory however it beats blaming one another or trying to appease one another. A profitable reconciliation is to regard our self and one another, not from a worldly point of view, but as one with Christ, Truth. This opens the mind to productive communication and understanding. We can admit our mistakes and move forward.

When relationships have clearly broken, reconciliation can still occur. We can return to the experience of love while seriously remembering to reconcile each day with truth. Here is a list of truths I’ve noticed in the last few years:

  1. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse mistakes but aids in reconciliation.
  2. Divine Love comes with the wisdom to respect new ideas.
  3. Reconciliation is inevitable. A commitment to the inevitable is invigorating whereas resigning myself to the inevitable is wearying.

 

I’ve experienced reconciliation with religion also by reconstructing my view on it minus superstition and false reverences. It is inevitable for reconciliation to escape the old-time religion that we all are a bunch of lousy sinners separate from Truth, God. Religion is also escaping the nonsense that we are good human beings reconciled to God through human approval. But, Truth is paramount, not human approval. From 21st Century Science and Health, “If Truth is overcoming error in your daily walk and talk, you are a better person and can finally say, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.’[1] This is having our part in the reconciliation with Truth and Love.”

We cannot reconcile ourselves to the past or to out-grown thinking. Reconciliation is not a matter of putting-the-old-back-together. We are one with God, not one with a human life, and can reconcile to truth right now and every day. Exchanging the human for the divine requires honest finesse and the result is strong relationships built on that which lasts.


[1] II Tim. 4:7



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