It is important in counseling to bring people to a place of repentance, confession of sin, and forgiveness whenever necessary. That is good, biblical and necessary. But there is more.

Reconciliation ought to follow. As we are reconciled to God after forgiveness, so too ought the counselor help counselees to develop proper relationships with one another. Two who have been at enmity, may not find it easy to do so. They ask forgiveness, seem embarrassed, and in the future avoid one another, RECONCILIATION MEANS DEVELOPING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP FOR THE FUTURE.

So, don’t just send off two who have quarreled after forgiveness. Work with them to develop a future, friendly relationship. Naturally, there will we embarrassment, but that should not cause them to avoid one another in the future, A new, and truly biblical relationship must be developed.

Of course, it may be difficult especially when two are members of the same church, but that’s the beauty of reconciliation—it is possible to exhibit it in many ways in the future before others. Particularly difficult may be when an unmarried couple breaks up. But even this situation isn’t impossible.

I didn’t say that such persons must become the closest of friends. But there must be no standoffishness. The pastor ought to warn about the problem and monitor it in days to come. Further counseling may be required, but—whatever it takes (biblically)—they must establish a holy relationship as God does after reconciling with us.

When You Were Wrong

So often, people respond to others in ways that they wish they hadn’t. What should you do about it when you are the guilty party? Confess that you were wrong, and seek forgiveness. You should work toward reconciliation. See Matthew 5:23.

But what if the person is not around, you never will see him again, is dead?

Sin is fundamentally against God—even when it is also against another person. So you can talk to Him about it the matter, seek His forgiveness, and ask for help in being different in the future.

He knows where the person is and can settle matters in the other person’s heart in His way, even if you are not present. If he is dead, God has already brought His settlement to the issue.

The key thing is to be sure you have done all you can to contact the person you sinned against; then, if your search is unsuccessful, ask God to deal with the matter as He sees fit.

Is there someone from whom you should ask forgiveness today? Don’t put it off; settle matters right now!