What Did You Say?

written by Chris Hartenstein
In the last 18 months, the phrase “What did you say?! has been used a lot around the world. It’s rare for it to be used to understand. Oftentimes, it’s just gearing up for an argument, conflict, or political discussion. It has made me wonder...are we ever going to be unified and on the same page?

The unfortunate answer is no we won’t. Primarily, because very few of us really understand something key to the Greater Story God is writing and that is reconciliation.

In its simplest form, reconciliation is the process of “making things right” between two parties. There is a party that is offended and one that offends. Offenses create debt; Something that is owed by the offender to the offended. The offended must agree to take a certain payment for the offense to release the debt. Once the payment is made, the offense released, they are reconciled to one another. Where there was once conflict there is now resolve and peace.

Why is the process of reconciliation important to understand? Because reconciliation is much more than saying I am sorry,  just moving on, or letting it go.  It takes time, grace, mercy, love, humility and it’s deeply personal. It takes forgiveness and yet is more than forgiveness. Reconciliation takes place between two specific, willing individuals, and is about the return of intimacy between each of their hearts. Its core focus is a return to relationship! It is about releasing what’s weighing us down, holding us back, and receiving all that brings healing, wholeness, and life! At our core, we all desire this and when we TRULY have it, we would love others to have it too!      

We will explore three types of reconciliation over the next several weeks together. All of which are equally important, distinct, and experience in a specific order. Here’s a sample of each:

God to man: God reaches down and pays the debt created by man’s offense so that man can be in renewed relationship to himself again.

Man to man: Humans, after reconciling to God, must be reconciled to each other.  God designed human relationships and they must be renewed.  (part of the great commandment)  

Man to God: Man accepts who He has been created to be vs who he wants to be, chooses to live that out.      

So we are gonna stop there for this week. Take some time to mull over the calibration questions and the two key scriptures 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 and Romans 5:6-11 (both are below).

This is a tough topic so I would love to hear back from you on how you're doing!  My email is chris@thenewfrontierministries.org.

Calibration Questions:
- After reading the scriptures below?  What jumped out to you?  Why?
- How would you define reconciliation? How does your definition differ from our Dad’s?
- What has shaped your definition of reconciliation? Why is that true?
- Of the three types of reconciliation, which would you say is the most difficult for you to receive and give? Why?
- Of the three types of reconciliation, which is the easiest for you to receive and give? Why?

Key Verses to Read:
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.  For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;  and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” -  2 Corinthians 5:11- 21

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” - Romans 5: 6-11

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