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Love Can Be Confrontational

From The Scholars Corner

Restoration is different than reconciliation.

Restoration has to do with restoring those who have fallen, but reconciliation has to do with repairing relationships between brothers or parties.

Restoration is not enablement, excusing the behavior, or simply being polite but avoiding the person, but resolving differences in a way that relationships are deepened in love and intimacy.

Reconciliation has to do with restoring relationships. How you reconcile with someone who has hurt you, or sinned against you, either knowingly or unknowingly?  You try to get them to see how their actions have harmed you. As in a marriage or in any relationship, reconciliation requires a willingness of others to want to reconcile. It doesn’t always work. But Jesus told us how to hold each other accountable, and even though it may be confrontational, it is still an act of love, because the goal is a restored relationship.

The Jewish sages said love is a commitment, not an emotion. Love is being committed to the welfare of another regardless of what it costs you.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “God did not call us to like our enemies, for that would be impossible; He called us to love them.”   By confronting the government and authorities with their racism, the non-violent marches exposed the evil, so that people could see what was really at stake and might repent. Loving your enemies in this case was an act of confrontation.

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:5–6, ESV)

If you think you can always reconcile without entering into conflict, you are being unrealistic. Like marriage, intimacy in fellowships require us to WORK out our differences, not just ignore them until they fester into bitterness, or rejection, or indifference and avoidance.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:15–20, ESV)

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