Reconciled

Reconciled

Blog – 4-5-17

Step 9 says, “We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” The bible verse that goes along with this step says:

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember
that your
 brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift
there in front of the altar.
 First go and be reconciled to them; then
come and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:23-24

The verse from Matthew is what inspired the song Rachel and I wrote for Step 9. This verse clearly tells us that we need to come before God with a clean slate, that any issues between us and others need to be resolved BEFORE we come to God. But that’s a really hard concept to put into practice, isn’t it. Confronting the broken relationships in our lives can be terrifying. If you’re like me, you would rather try to avoid the person than confront the conflict.

What if they won’t forgive me?

What if they’re still angry about the situation and it blows up again in my face?

What if they absolutely don’t want to talk about it?

Isn’t it better to just leave well enough alone?

There are tons of questions and possible negative reactions that are totally out of our control when we try to reconcile with someone. The truth is, when we make amends, our part in it really ends with the amends, the saying “I’m sorry.” The person we are making amends to has the choice to move on to forgiveness…or not. That is the part that’s difficult to swallow and what makes this step brutal for most of us. Our hope, of course, is that reconciliation happens, but there’s no guarantee that the relationship will be restored.

I don’t know about you, but that’s very scary to me. Yet this verse in Matthew tells us it is absolutely necessary to work towards reconciliation in our relationships before we come to God. Whether we receive forgiveness or not, making amends is a huge step on our growth journey and draws us closer to God.

The concept we tried hard to get across in the song is the Good News that freedom is waiting when forgiveness does come. When broken relationships are restored, healing happens. We really do “taste sweet release as we extend our hands in peace.” Forgiveness truly does “tear the darkness down” because the enemy would like nothing better than to keep us at odds with each other. When “forgiveness wears the crown” heaven rejoices and God is exalted!

Speaking from personal experience with this step, when I have been brave and confronted relationships that are broken, when I’ve made amends for my mistakes, when I’ve confronted instead of avoided, when I have brought the pain into the light, miracles have happened! Relationships have grown stronger because of it, and I have truly felt that freedom. Whether I received the forgiveness I hoped for or not, knowing that I had done all I could to make things right was life-changing. The weight was gone as peace filled my soul.

Making amends is hard, it’s embarrassing at times, it can feel humiliating, but it’s so incredibly important. The bible says so!

If you’re reading this and a situation in your life keeps popping up in your mind, if you know there is someone in your life this step applies to, I urge you to pray about it. Ask for the courage to confront the situation rather than avoid it. Pray for a willing heart to admit your mistake and ask for mercy. Pray that your relationship can be reconciled. Trust that no matter how things turn out, you can go before God with a clean heart.

“Let the healing song resound, freedom, freedom!”

Here are the words to the song for Step 9. Go be reconciled!

Reconciled
Words and music by Jill Miller and Rachel Barrentine © 2016

Verse 1:
I’m here to say I’m sorry, make amends for my mistakes
I don’t want to lose you, I’ll do whatever it takes
I know I hurt you, I know I need to make things right
It’s time to bring this pain into the light

Chorus:
Before I bring my offering I will go to you
Plead for grace in this hard place between you and me
We will taste sweet release as we extend our hands in peace
With forgiveness running wild
Let’s be reconciled

Verse 2:
I’m breathing deeper, God is lifting the weight
It’s your decision, but I pray mercy wins the day
We can be stronger, we can move on from where we’ve been
Love is the only way that we will win

Chorus:
Before I bring my offering I will go to you
Plead for grace in this hard place between you and me
We will taste sweet release as we extend our hands in peace
With forgiveness running wild
Let’s be reconciled

Bridge:
Let’s tear the darkness down
Let forgiveness wear the crown
Let the healing song resound
Freedom, freedom

Chorus:
Before I bring my offering I will go to you
Plead for grace in this hard place between you and me
We will taste sweet release as we extend our hands in peace
With forgiveness running wild
Let’s be reconciled

Bridge:
Let’s tear the darkness down
Let forgiveness wear the crown
Let the healing song resound
Freedom, freedom

Hugs and love,

Jill

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