Many issues today have a polarizing effect on people (e.g. racism, etc.). What are some issues hotly debated in your circle of influence? How can differences in opinion divide relationships among colleagues, friends, and even family members?
Read and Discuss
What is the difference between reconciliation and forgiveness? In cases of conflict, how difficult is it for you to acknowledge that you are in the wrong? Why is it so important to acknowledge you are wrong in order for true reconciliation to happen? In the road to reconciliation, what role does talking about past issues have in reconciling with the person you have conflict with?
Give examples of family conflicts that are difficult to reconcile. What makes it difficult for you to forgive a family member or a close friend who has hurt you deeply? On the other hand, what makes you willing to forgive even though you were hurt? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our deep hurt?
Discuss how the attitude of humility makes it easier for both parties to forgive and reconcile. Do you think it takes as much humility to accept an apology as it is to give one? Why do you think so? Describe how the Lord Jesus Christ is a perfect role model in accepting those who offend Him.
What does it mean to have contentment with a settled heart? How is it possible to have that kind of heart when someone has wronged you? Why is it so important to understand that restoration and reconciliation should not be focused on restitution (making up for what was lost), but in the restoration of relationships?
How important is trust in relationships between loved ones? Why could there be no true reconciliation when the two erring individuals are not ready to trust each other again? In your personal walk with God, how do you know that God trusts you to fully live out your life into Christ-likeness?
In Walk: After twenty long years, Jacob and Esau had a wonderful reconciliation and restored their relationship. This was possible because there was an acknowledgement of the wrong things that had been committed, a willingness to forgive each other, both came with an attitude of humility, and both showed contentment with a settled heart, acknowledging their blessings and concluding that they each had enough. Finally, both of them were ready to trust each other again. Jacob and Esau focused not in getting restitution, but in restoring their relationship. Is there a relationship in your life that needs true reconciliation? What do you feel is necessary for you to have, but that you currently lack, in order for there to be true reconciliation? Would you be willing to do your part and participate so that you could be reconciled with that person?
In Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have shown me how to have a restored relationship with You when You sent Jesus Christ to redeem me from my sin. You didn’t expect anything from me other than to believe and receive Him as my Savior. Thank You that I am saved not because of the good works that I’ve done. None of them is sufficient to save me from my sin, but the blood of Christ is all-sufficient for You to forgive me. May I remember all these when someone offends me and I have a hard time dealing with it. May You give me the attitude of humility in my relationship with others and to always acknowledge Your blessings in my life even when someone hurts me. Thank You that through the working of the Holy Spirit, I can enjoy the grace that You have bestowed on me. Thank You for trusting me to live a Christ-like life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.