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2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

 

To reconcile is to return to favor with and to receive one into favor. So when I am reconciled to Christ, I am transformed from darkness into the Kingdom of Light because of God’s great love, mercy and compassion and not because I merit anything. As the old gospel hymn says, “Nothing good have I done to deserve God’s own Son, I’m not worthy of the scars in His hands.” I didn’t deserve to be reconciled but Jesus reached through my undeserving sinful nature and reconciled me unto Himself because of His great love.

So I have the gift of reconciliation that has been given to me and the act of reconciling with someone has been displayed before me by Jesus Himself when He reconciled me unto Him. Therefore I have everything necessary to practice reconciliation myself. Reconciliation doesn’t stop when I am reconciled to Jesus. When Jesus reconciles me to Himself I then have an obligation to practice reconciliation towards others. If I refuse to share and practice the reconciliation that has so freely been given to me I am a selfish human being.

It’s not too difficult to practice reconciliation when I feel like the receiving party deserves to be reconciled. It’s an entirely different matter, however, when I don’t feel like the offending party really deserves to be reconciled to me. That must have been the choice Jacob faced when he returned after 20 years of exile to have his brother Esau meet him with 400 armed men. Yet somehow Jacob found the necessary inward substance to bow before Esau 7 times and give him gifts of the outward substance Jacob had worked so hard for. Thus Jacob and his brother were reconciled and able to live in the same place together.

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