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We’re called to do everything we can to live at peace with others. But there’s an assumption of limitations here as well. It’s not always up to us and there are times in which reconciliation might not be advisable. 

To be sure, we won’t get along with everyone. And many times, this is just differences in our personality or temperament. Thankfully, the call to love does not require us to be best friends with everyone. 

At other times, we had an established and meaningful relationship before some conflict or betrayal eroded our bond. And this makes it more difficult to make amends and restore our relationship.  

Of course, reconciliation should still be pursued whenever possible. But some wounds are too deep to recover from in this life. All the same, this is not an excuse to neglect doing everything we can. 

For instance, even before the journey of reconciliation, we must be on the journey of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not optional in our life of faith, though it’s still a process we must patiently submit to. And working through forgiveness puts us in a better position to consider the restoration of the relationship itself. In fact, we’re building on a sandy foundation when we try to reconcile without first putting in a good faith effort toward forgiveness. 

But forgiveness still doesn’t automatically mean reconciliation. We might decide that this person is no longer in our inner circle and that we will now love them from a distance. We did what we could by working through our efforts of forgiveness. And now with a clear head and calm heart we decide the nature of our relationship going forward. 

We bring more pain and heartache when we try to force reconciliation. But we miss much of the goodness available when we don’t even try. 

In the end, do your part to live at peace with everyone. At the very least, this includes practicing forgiveness. But this doesn’t always mean reconciliation. 

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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