Forgiveness vs. Reconciliation

Gary Arthurs

MARCH, 2016
Other Posts

He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Have you ever felt like you could forgive, but still could not trust someone? This is an example of forgiveness without reconciliation, and something I am understanding more clearly as I lead step studies with men. Where forgiveness requires one person, reconciliation requires two. While forgiveness is internal, reconciliation is interpersonal. Forgiveness is a step towards reconciliation, but it is not the same. Reconciliation is when two people come together, talk, express hurts, listen for remorse, and began to reestablish trust. While reconciliation may be out of our control, we can always forgive, act in love, and be ready and willing to reconcile.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Shawn’s Recovery and Reconciliation

Shawn was at the end of his rope, using drugs and alcohol to cope with his depression and anxiety. He felt “spiritually bankrupt” and was contemplating suicide.

At his lowest point he walked two hours to Open Door Mission and a few days later was part of my Saturday morning group. Shortly after that, Shawn asked if I would be his “sponsor”. As a sponsor to Shawn, we met outside the group to talk and work through the step studies one on one. This past month, Shawn graduated from ODM and reconciled with his family! Shawn is now trying to restart his career as an x-ray technician for industrial piping and welding.

Leading Men Who Are Leading Others

It’s satisfying to work with a man, see him regain sobriety, and graduate. It is even more satisfying to see that man sponsor someone else, who does the same. Through your partnership, we were able to see just that this past month. Charles, one of the men I continue to work with, became a sponsor for “Danny”, who also recently graduated. Please join us in praying for Shawn, Charles, Danny and others as they continue taking next steps. Thank you for helping make all of this possible. 



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