How well do you handle reconciliation? Do you dread the process of making up? Do you enjoy clinging to the pain of past hurts? Does pride prohibit your assuming any responsibility for the conflict? Perhaps it is the discomfort of having to initiate the opening of old wounds and the cleansing of festered relationships that frightens you away from the peace table. Your hesitancy to apologize or suggest improved relationships may stem from your fear of being rejected. There are numerous reasons why reconciliation is avoided. Yet, it is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. There is no joy like the joy of being friends again. There is no love like the love from someone who has been estranged. There is no peace like the peace of being accepted and restored.
How strange that something as beneficial to our emotional and physical health as reconciliation is postponed or ignored altogether. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies because we never allow our enemies to become our friends again. It is not so much that we keep returning evil for evil. It is the fact that we do nothing to aid the peace process. We suffer in silence and build up tons of unnecessary anger. When a relationship is strained we read into every conversation and action the worst possible interpretation. We sin against our own spiritual health by keeping a conflict alive in our imaginations when, in reality, a conflict no longer exists.
Jesus understood the dynamics of reconciliation and good relationships. In essence He said if someone hits us on one cheek do not hit back but turn the other cheek. In other words, someone has to take the last blow. Someone has to say, “Enough is enough. Let us stop hurting one another and begin to build a better relationship.” The truth of the matter is that life is not always fair. Everything does not come out even. Sometimes we have to give more than it seems we get. However, when friendships are restored we all get more than we deserve. It is a grace rebate and a bonus for having the courage to go the second mile.