This past Sunday in worship we talked about forgiveness. Too often we think about forgiveness as kissing and making up with someone. But kissing and making up actually goes by another name: reconciliation

Reconciliation takes two people. Two people who are willing to do the hard work it will take to heal the damage that has been done. It takes time. It takes continued contact.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is entirely one-sided. You can forgive someone regardless of their actions. You can forgive someone regardless of their desire to be forgiven. You can forgive someone from a long ways away.

In a country where 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men find themselves in physically abusive relationships. this is a critically important distinction.

Jesus’ teachings say not reconciliation but forgiveness is our duty as his followers. We are not asked to stay in and fix impossible, abusive relationships. Rather, we asked to move beyond the damage they have wrought in our lives.