Reconciliation After Brokenness

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Colossians 3:12-13

The goal of biblical counseling is to teach people how to glorify God through their lives. We do this by teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. 

When relationships have been broken our goal is to see them through to reconciliation when possible. This we believe is demonstrating the purpose for which Christ died; to reconcile sinners to God. 

To help a counselee biblically deal with a broken relationship we must help them understand what it means to biblically forgive and how to do so. Often when a relationship has been severed because of sin one reason forgiveness is withheld is because they believe the hurt and betrayal are just too big to get past.  In general people struggle to forgive because they are not clear about what forgiveness from the heart really is so they look for reasons or make excuses not to forgive.

To refuse to forgive will add to the internal misery and woe you will experience. The unforgiving person is the one who suffers the most. If you choose not to forgive, I guarantee you will become bitter. If you choose this path, you may as well know right up front that you are deliberately enslaving yourself. The sins of bitterness and unforgiveness enslave you and will ruin your life. You may think that by refusing to forgive the person who hurt you will “get theirs,” but that is not so. If you refuse to forgive, you will be the one who suffers even greater misery than you have experienced as a result of the sin that fractured your relationship in the first place.

You have to understand that your position before God is exactly level with that of the worst sinner, because the ground is level at the foot of the cross. There is nothing exceptional about you; we are all sinners and all in need of God’s grace and mercy. You must choose to forgive on the basis of what God has forgiven you.

When forgiveness is granted doesn’t mean things go back to how they were before. It may never be the same again. Hopefully, some changes have been made in both of you and you are able to be more honest and open with one another.

The majority of our counseling cases involve two believers who say they are willing to submit to our counsel and say they are willing to change.  You will have to deal biblically with issues that are, in some cases, long-standing. You have to get at the roots of the problems that lead to the brokenness in the relationship. Each issue you bring to the counseling table should be looked at from a biblical perspective. The goal should be for each of you to individually determine to give God the glory by how you live your lives. This means confession and repentance must take place in each individual’s heart.

This process will be a lot of work and at times it may feel impossible and overwhelming to you. Remember in those moments (or days), that you did not get into the mess in one day and you most likely won’t climb out of it quickly either.  Something to remember is that you are in some cases rebuilding an entire relationship and this will take time.  Repentance and forgiveness does not eliminate the necessity of the passage of time in the healing of your relationship. You cannot hurry this along, expecting to advance through phases or stages of repair on a schedule. Depending on what caused the brokenness in the relationship in the first place there may be many days or months ahead of hard work at the heart level and the practical level as you both seek to live out the internal changes God is bringing.  For both of you, this is an intensely personal road to walk upon as you walk along side one another.

You may already know that you are unable to handle this time in your life alone. You are not autonomous and you cannot be self-sufficient. In Christ you are going to have to become God-sufficient. This is a burden you cannot bear alone.

As you cling to the cross for sufficiency to redeem you, you must also keep it central in your relationship. Ask the Lord to teach you about Himself and about who you are to Him. You must direct your thoughts to the Lord and ask Him to help you to not only endure, but to grow and increase your faith and trust in Him through this time.