Reconciliation (By Jon Perkins)

It was on my mind all summer. Well, maybe not all summer, but definitely the last month or so. I remember the excitement of going back for my sophomore year of college and the angst of knowing that I’d hurt my best friend.
We had hung out the rest of the summer, and I had plenty of opportunities to come clean. Each time I saw him, my throat got tighter and tighter, knowing I had to tell him while at the same time hoping he hadn’t found out. Summer ended and I was back at school. I still remember thinking, Well, I dodged a bullet. 
The phone rang – this was before cell phones were commonplace – and I answered mainly because I had no idea who was on the other end. It was, of course, my best friend, asking not why I kissed her (a girl he liked), but why I didn’t tell him. He never lost his temper or raised his voice but the hurt was evident. Although this happened 21 years ago this month, our friendship was never the same.
Yes, not the best story, and no, I am not proud of myself, but that unfortunate and unpleasant phone call taught me some valuable lessons and changed my life. That conversation was the tipping point for me realizing that I didn’t know Christ on any level. My life with Christ started just a few days later, and of course, my life has not been the same since.
But the other valuable lesson was the power of reconciliation. Sounds weird, I know, especially since I just mentioned that our friendship was never the same, but him calling me and being honest with me was just as influential then as it is today.
That call taught me that it’s okay to have that tough conversation. It couldn’t have been easy for him to call me or for him to not just scream at me. He let me know that I’d let him down and gave me a chance to apologize. I think a lot of times when we read Matthew 18:15-17, we don’t follow through because we are nervous or scared to even broach the topic. We’d rather ignore the situation or the person instead of having a difficult talk. I encourage you to not be scared of the conversation because it will help bring peace to you and the other person.

Just my luck, the next time I was home for break, I ran into him at the movies. Although I knew our friendship had changed, when I saw him it was like a huge weight was lifted off of me. I wasn’t hiding anything from him and he allowed that to happen. See, when we have an offense against someone, often times they know they have hurt us in some way and are avoiding us and the situation the same way we are avoiding them and the situation. But if we confront them in a loving way, that allows the burden to not just be removed from us, but also from them.