Reconciliation has two directions: one toward God and one toward people. Reconciliation toward God is the Gospel. Yeshua died on the cross to demonstrate sacrificial love and to pay the price for our forgiveness. Thus we are reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5).
There is also reconciliation between people. If God made peace with us, it is appropriate for us to make peace with others. The principle of reconciliation is that we always seek to bring unity and take active measures to fix broken relationships.
When a relationship is broken, it is because wrong has been done, or perceived to be done, by one party to another. Yeshua taught us to be “pro-active” in both directions. We are to “go” to the other person, regardless of whether we hurt them, or they hurt us, or there is simply a misunderstanding.
The childish reaction of “he started it” (therefore it’s not my fault, and I’m not going to do anything about it), is certainly a natural reaction in all of us. However, Yeshua teaches us to overcome that tendency and, through spiritual maturity, to seek out the other person in an effort to restore the relationship.
If you bring your sacrifice to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave the sacrifice on the altar and GO first to be reconciled with your brother… – Matthew 5:23-24
Repentance and reconciliation has priority even over worship.
Loving confrontation is also part of grace and faith:
If your brother sins against you, Go and reprove him between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have won back your brother. – Matthew 18:15
In the first case, a brother “has something” against you; in the second case, you have something “against him.” In either case, it is our responsibility to GO first. The core value of reconciliation means that we always make whatever effort possible to restore relationships, no matter who is at fault.
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, March 2, 2017, and reposted with permission.