How do we move toward reconciliation? How do we break down hostility in relationship? Like we established last week, reconciliation could be a necessary step toward emotional healing. Reconciliation is restoring broken fellowship or relationship. It could be with your partner, friend, neighbors, parents, children or even colleague at work.
All of life is interdependent. There’s an ecology of sort that keeps things in a state of homeostasis, balance. The moment that balance is broken or hindered, there’s a problem and that problem could manifest in emotional disturbance, anxiety, insomnia or even inappetence. We may attempt to use medication to deal with it but if we don’t address the underlying conditions it’s an effort in futility.
How do we bring about reconciliation? It involves 2 or 3 steps. First is repentance. Repentance is more than being sorry. It’s not just saying it but showing it. It’s a change of heart that leads to a change of way. It is realizing that one has been going in the wrong direction and then turn around to go in the right direction. It takes humility to do that. The people we have hurt need to see that clearly.
Second is restitution. Restitution is making right what you’ve done wrong. It is uprooting the evil tree you planted before they begin to yield their fruits. It is paying for the damage you caused. It is giving back what you wrongly took or claimed to be yours. Even when there’s nothing to return, it’s making a peace offering for the pain we have caused; making good of or giving an equivalent for some injury.
So it’s not enough to repent; we may need to also restitute our way. It’s a necessary step toward reconciliation. At times we may need to go one more step to assure our victims and that is the third step, rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is a process that brings about restoration especially by therapeutic means to an improved condition of physical function. It is being restored to a condition of health or useful and constructive activity.
When a person has been abusive or physically and psychologically damaged especially by alcohol or substance use or some other vices, this may be a necessary process to undergo in order to experience healing and reconciliation.
Until we take these two or three steps as the case may be, we’re not fully ready for reconciliation that brings about healing of our relationship.