304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Work Hours
Monday to Friday: 7AM - 7PM
Weekend: 10AM - 5PM

UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS – This Time About Forgiveness and Reconciliation

As a child, my parents would read  to me verses from the scriptures: “Do not sin in anger: let not the sun go down in your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). This meant that no one should end the day and go to bed holding anger, resentment or bad thoughts towards each other. You definitely need to find peace with this person. From my mother and father I learned the meaning of reconciliation, i.e., to comfort, to fix things up, to find peace, restore harmony, to reconcile guilt, to harmonise, to mediate, restoration of friendly relations. Did you notice how many of these definitions are synonymous to forgiveness? Because reconciliation requires forgiveness both ways.

Let’s think about how important it is not to carry anger and resentment with you. If we hold on to anger for one day,  and another day, possibly a week, even a month, we choose not to forgive. We owe forgiveness!  We owe forgiveness one day, another day, a week, a month … and our debt of forgiveness accumulates. Why debt, you ask? Because when Peter asks Jesus how many times we should forgive, Jesus replied:
 “I do not tell you seven times, but seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21).

What happens if we take out a loan, but do not repay it? First we receive reminders, then warnings and sooner or later, the day of judgment arrives …
 It will happen if we owe someone forgiveness. When I have to answer to the Creator of the World why I did not forgive and reconcile, my excuses — “but he offended me so much,” “she hurt me so much,” “but they did it,” will run counter to God’s Word:
 “… each of us will answer to God for himself”  (Romans 14:12).

Jesus will say: „ Answer only about yourself, why don’t you forgive ?!” And He will say this for all my transgressions: „Answer for your actions, attitude, words! And it will not help my childish justification that I did not know, I forgot, I did not understand ..
The Living Word of God will answer: “Dear child, I told you, I reminded you, I warned you.  I taught you how to pray about it. ” –

 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).
  “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: for your Father which is in heaven forgives you your trespasses; but if ye forgive not, your Father which is in heaven will not forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11: 25-26).

 My Savior will say: “I have explained it  to you.” – 
  “Wherefore if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if ye forgive not men your trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses ”
 (Matthew 6: 14-15).
 “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: for ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).
  The  Son of God will say: “I have warned you.” – 
„If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day come unto thee, saying, I am sorry, forgive him ”(Luke 17: 3-4).

 Jesus will look at me sadly: “I reminded you” –
 “Be kind and merciful to one another: forgive one another, even as God also forgave you in Christ” (Ephesians 4:32).
  “..That you tolerate one another, and forgive one another, if any man have ought to complain to the other;  as our Lord has forgiven you, so do you.  And above all, that there is love, which is the bond of perfection ”  (Colossians 3: 13-14).

I understand that there is no other way. God’s command is clear.
 In order to receive forgiveness, I must forgive others!

But how to do it?  Is it in my power as an ordinary person?  But if it hurts the people closest to you, if you are still hurt, betrayed, humiliated ..?  Can everything really be forgiven?  Does forgiving mean forgetting what has been done?  But if it fails?  Does love really cover everything and heal?