Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Forgiveness &Reconciliation 

As a small town shopkeeper’s son in Kerala, one of my duties when helping out at the shop was reconciling the day’s accounts at closing time. I will add up the day’s receipts and payments, count the funds in the till and if the difference between receipts and payments matched the difference between the funds in the till at the end and beginning of the day the reconciliation is complete.

What does reconciliation mean in Christian life? More or less the same way as it is in accounting. There are two kinds of reconciliation as it applies to us Christians.

Reconciliation with God

All of us are sinners. Sin is a debt to God. We were born in sin, that is with a debt in our account and we keep on adding to this account by our actions. The wages of sin is death and that is what we have earned. However God in his infinite mercy gave us a way out, regardless of the enormity of our sins (debt). He sacrificed His only son on the cross as a means (credit) to blot out our sins. All we need to do is believe in Christ, repent our wrongs and ask for forgiveness for a complete write off of our debt.

 Reconciliation with fellow men

We should not do wrong (indebted) to a brother or keep a grudge about any wrong done to us. Jesus illustrates this point in the parable of the unforgiving debtor (Mathew 18:21-35). In the answer to Peter’s question about a brother that offends you and how many times he should be forgiven, Jesus advices to keep on forgiving (reconciling with) a brother not seven times but seventy seven times. In the parable Jesus implies that reconciliation with brothers is a pre requisite for receiving forgiveness from God.

In the epistle portion Paul emphasizes both these aspects. The supreme gift from God, through Christ’s death on the cross, to us so that we sinners could be reconciled to God.  Once we are reconciled with God and in Christ, as new creations, as His ambassadors, and as people exhibiting Christ-like character, reconciliation with others should come naturally to us.

Prayer: Our heavenly  Father, we, recite Lord’s Prayer all the time, but many a time we merely recite the words “Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”  without realizing and trying it in  practice. Give us the wisdom to put reconciliation in practice each and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

Thought for the day: With God's Love and Power forgiveness and reconciliation are always possible.

Thomas Varghese

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